The three-member Commission of Inquiry set up by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to probe the violence that marred the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election in the Greater Accra Region, has promised to carry out its one-month probe transparently, objectively and fairly.
The Commission has Mr Justice Emile Short, a former boss of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) as Chairman, with Professor Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu, a legal expert and Mr Patrick K. Acheampong, a former IGP, as members.
A former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), who is also a private legal practitioner, Mr Ernest Kofi Abotsi, is the Secretary to the Commission.
Some elements within the main the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), including the party’s General Secretary Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, have described the Commission as a vehicle to whitewash the perpetrators of the violence and to also do a cover-up job for the government.
National Security operatives shot and wounded 16 members of the NDC at the private residence of the party’s parliamentary candidate at La-Bawaleshie during the 31 Jan January 2019 by-election.
They also beat unarmed civilians and slapped Ningo Prampram MP Sam George in the melee.
Mr Asiedu Nketia had insisted the Commission is only an attempt by Nana Akufo-Addo to free the culprits since any witness who appears before a Commission of Inquiry cannot be prosecuted later.
But speaking on behalf of the Commission at a brief swearing-in ceremony at the Jubilee House on Friday, 8 February 2019, Justice Short said the Commission will be impartial in its work.
He said: “On behalf of the members of the Commission and the Executive Secretary, we’ll like to express our appreciation and gratitude to His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and to you [Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia] for giving us this opportunity to serve the nation.
“We consider this to be an extremely important assignment. I’ll also like to express my appreciation for the words of confidence you have expressed in us, particularly your statement that we have been selected because we are considered to be men and women of integrity. We’ll like to assure all and sundry that we shall carry out mandate transparently, objectively and in a fair manner, and I will like to urge all and sundry to give us all the support that we’ll need so that we can find a credible and lasting solution to the phenomenon of electoral violence and vigilante groups”.
Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia who swore in the members of the Commission described them as people whose “impeccable integrity” cannot be questioned, and expressed confidence that they will do a fair job.