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NDC chides Ejura Committee for failing to serve justice

The largest opposition party, National Democratic Congress(NDC) has slammed the Justice George Kingsley Koomson-led three-member committee tasked to investigate the Ejura killings for failing to serve justice with its findings.

According to the party, this grand agenda to once again cover up, obfuscate and try to normalize an issue of such magnitude and importance only speaks to what has been a consistent trend since President Akufo-Addo assumed the reins of power.

Addressing a press conference at the NDC Headquarters in Accra, the National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi noted that the Committee’s recommendation that the Military Command should review the conduct of the Lt. Martin Opoku-led soldiers who allegedly shot dead two demonstrators and “apply appropriate sanctions”, is nebulous and leaves much to be desired.

“This is because of the vagueness of this recommendation, which in our view has created a gaping hole for those trigger-happy NPP vigilantes clothed in Military attire, to possibly get away with their murderous act.

We think that the Committee should have recommended clear and specific punishment for these errant soldiers whose reckless conduct caused the avoidable deaths of two Ghanaians. The testimony of Multimedia’s Erastus Asare Donkor, which was upheld by the Committee and supported by video evidence indicates that the soldiers without any justification fired live ammunition into a crowd of protesters resulting in the avoidable deaths of the said two people and injuries to several others. Without any provocation or reasonable justification, the Soldiers lowered their shooting angle, with some kneeling down to take aim and shoot at the retreating crowd.”

The NDC said “given the fact that precious lives have been lost as a result of the deliberate and cruel actions of the Lt. Adusei-led soldiers which to us, amounts to reckless disregard for human life, we think that the Committee should have recommended nothing short of the outright dismissal and criminal prosecution of all the ten (10) soldiers involved, to serve as a deterrent to others and to assuage the pain of the affected families and the people of Ejura.”

The party further found it equally reprehensible and unacceptable that the Committee did not recommend any sanctions for the political and top military actors who deployed these soldiers in the first place. This is because of the Committee’s own finding that the deployment of soldiers to Ejura was premature and needless.

“The Committee affirms our position that soldiers should have been called in to quell the justified and legitimate agitation of the Ejura youth as a last resort. Yet, they were called in by the irresponsible Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, the Commanding Officer of the 4th Infantry Battalion, Lt. colonel Kwasi Ware Peprah and the General Officer Commanding, Central Command, Kumasi, Brigadier General Joseph Aphour as a first resort.

“Having established that the deployment of soldiers to Ejura was improper, one would have
expected the Committee to have recommended sanctions for those responsible for that wrongful deployment, but no such recommendation was made in their report. If this does not speak to certain grand collusion to cover up the heinous crimes of these actual masterminds of the unjustified Ejura killings, then we don’t know what else does.”

The NDC “holds the view, that the Ashanti Regional Minister, who without any due diligence or verifiable intelligence deployed soldiers to Ejura, ably supported by the 4th Infantry Battalion Commander and the General Officer Commanding, Central Command, Kumasi, must be dismissed from their positions for the poor judgment they exercised on the matter which led to the loss of precious lives and several injuries. The soldiers on the ground were only following their orders.”

“Furthermore, the party said “the Committee’s recommendation for the transfer of the Ejura District Police Commander, DSP Philip Kojo Hammond whose reckless conduct provoked the Ejura disturbances and triggered the shootings and killings of 29th June, 2021 is insufficient and ridiculous to say the least. In fact, it’s an insult to the sensibilities of the affected people and their families. Transferring a Police Officer to another station in the same capacity and rank can never constitute disciplinary action. Friends from the media, how on earth can a mere administrative transfer which have been touted as routine exercises of the security agencies, be recommended as punishment for a senior Police Officer whose unprofessional and reckless conduct has caused the death of two Ghanaians and injuries to many? We in the NDC hold the view that, the committee should have recommended a more punitive and deterrent sanction such as demotion or even dismissal of the Ejura District Police Commander.

“The third difficulty we have with this Ejura Committee Report has to do with its abject failure to recommend any sanctions for the Senior Security Officials comprising Police and Military Officers who appeared before the Committee to lie under oath, ostensibly to defend the unwarranted state-sponsored killings of 29th June, 2021.

“Specifically, Brigadier General Joseph Aphour- the General Officer Commanding, Central
Command, Kumasi was seen on National Television falsely testifying at the Committee’s hearing under oath that their men on the ground gave verbal warnings to the peaceful protestors before they started firing warning shots into the crowd of protesters. This claim was found to be false by the Committee. He, Brigadier General Joseph Aphour, Lt. Col Peprah the 4BN Commander, and Lt. Martin Opoku Adusei even went on to lie that some of the protestors fired back at the Soldiers, and that the Protesters who died were killed by gunshots from the crowd. This was also found by the Committee to be false based on video evidence of the incident.

“Most despicably, the Deputy Ashanti Regional Police Commander for Ejura, DCOP David
Agyemang Adjem and the Ejura District Police Commander, DSP Philip Kojo Hammond lied
under oath that the Police deployed the Water Cannon Vehicle to the burial grounds of Macho Kaaka upon the request of the Kaaka’s family. This claim which was refuted by Kaaka’s family and found to be untrue by the Committee, was what actually provoked and triggered the unfortunate disturbances in Ejura on the 28th and 29th of June, 2021.

“Yet, despite these blatant lies that were peddled by these Senior Security Officials under oath, which amounts to the offense of perjury, the Committee failed to recommend any sanctions for these Officers. Friends, the crime of perjury is a serious offense under our laws, and must not be treated lightly, especially in a matter of considerable national interest such as this, when these officials spoke under oath and were therefore bound to speak the truth and nothing but the truth.”

The NDC forcefully submit that “all persons who perjured themselves before the Committee should be interdicted and prosecuted in accordance with law.”


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