Accra, Feb. 8, GNA - Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia Friday swore into
office members of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Government to
undertake a full and impartial probe into the events and associated violence in
the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.
The members include; the former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Justice Emile Short, who chairs the body, Mrs Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, a distinguished law professor of international repute, and Mr Patrick K. Acheampong, a former Inspector-General of Police.
Mr Ernest Kofi Abotsi, a private legal practitioner is the Commission’s Secretary.
Mr Acheampong could not be part of the event because he was out of jurisdiction and would be sworn-in at a later date.
At a short ceremony at the Jubilee House in Accra, Vice President Bawumia, acting in the stead of President Nana Addo Dankwa Addo-Addo, administered the Oaths of Office and Secrecy to members.
He told them that they had been chosen for the job because they were people whose integrity was impeccable.
"None can question the integrity of the members of the Commission," he said.
The Acting President described the moment as 'historic', as this was the first time that such a body had been constituted to look into an incident of electoral violence and was optimistic that the outcome of the work of the Commission would lead to solutions that would prevent electoral violence in the future.
The Vice President told the Commission members that government had made the needed arrangements for the success of their work and was confident that they would get the needed cooperation from relevant institutions and stakeholders.
Justice Emile Short who expressed appreciation to the President for the opportunity to serve the nation, saying, "We consider this an extremely important assignment in the national interest."
He gave the assurance that the Commission would carry out its mandate transparently, objectively and in a fair manner.and underlined the importance of the support of all and sundry, particularly the political parties for the work of the Commission.
This, he said, would lead to a credible and lasting solution to the problem of electoral violence and political vigilantism.
The Commission which was announced on February 6, 2019 by the Government has a month to complete its work.
The Commission has been tasked, as per its terms of reference, to make a full, faithful and impartial inquiry into the circumstances of, and establish the facts leading to the events and associated violence during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on the 31st January, 2019.
The body would "identify any person responsible for or who has been involved in the events, associated violence and injuries; and inquire into any matter which the Commission considers incidental or reasonably related to the causes of the events and the associated violence and injuries; and submit its report within a month to the President giving reasons for its findings and recommendations, including appropriate sanctions, if any”.
The shooting incident, which involved some unidentified masked gun men and some agents of the National Democratic Congress Party, happened at the La- Balaweshie residence of the Party’s Parliamentary Candidate in the election.
The incident, which saw some seven persons hospitalised with varied degrees of injuries, has been widely condemned locally and internally with calls for thorough investigations to bring the perpetrators to book.
President Akufo-Addo in condemning the incident, urged the Inspector General of Police to swiftly investigate the matter conclusively.
The Police last Wednesday said, they had taken statements from 16 persons, including; the Member of Parliament for Prampram, Samuel George Narety, who was given a statement form.