The East Legon District Police Commander DSP George Asare has told the Emile Short Commission probing the violence that marred the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election that he was ordered by his superiors to step aside ahead of the by-election.

DSP Asare also revealed that the district command was not part of the security operations for the election.

The police commander said a day before the by-election his official vehicle was taken away from him.

“I was asked to stay aside and my command car was taken away from me and asked to bring to the Accra region.”

He added: “A day before the by-election we were all called to the regional command and when the list was given I realized my name was not part and I complained to Chief Superintendent Kwesi Ofori [head of Accra operations] and they said I should not worry.”

DSP Asare told the three-member commission it was “not standard practice.”

“I have been in the service for 23 years and this is the first time I’m seeing this,” the District Commander stated.

Six people were shot at the Bawaleshie polling centre of the constituency, compelling the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to withdraw from the exercise citing safety concerns.

He said the only time he got involved in the security operation was when he was called by his superiors to head to the Bawaleshie park to handle the shooting incident.

DSP Asare informed the Commission “seven people were arrested in connection with the shooting incident.”

The commission made up of Justice Emile Short, Henrietta Mensah Bonsu, Patrick K. Acheampong, with former Dean of the Faculty of Law of GIMPA and private legal practitioner, Mr. Ernest Kofi Abotsi as its Secretary began its public hearing on February 14.

The commission has been given one month to complete its work.

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