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Seven Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin to institute independent parliamentary inquiry into circumstances that led to the military invasion of the legislative’s chamber during the speakership election for the 8th parliament.
The petition which is jointly signed by the leadership of the eight organizations namely Anchoring Democracy Advocacy Movement Ghana (ADAM-GH), Community Focus Foundation Ghana (CFF-Ghana), Coalition of CSO’s Against Political Vigilantism ( CCAPV), African Center For Health Policy Research and Analysis (ACH-PRA), Back Bone For Good Governance, Democratic Credentials Network Ghana (DCN-Ghana), Grassroots Mobilizers Network, and Strategic Thinkers Network, Africa (STRANEK-Africa), also want the probe to unravel circumstances that led to the brutalities and killings of seven Ghanaians by security agencies during the December 7 general elections and the alleged insensitive statement made by Joe Osei Owusu about the deaths and other related matters.
This is the full text of the petition.
15th January, 2021
C/O P.O Box An16968
The RT. Hon. Speaker
CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS (CSOs) JOINT PETITION TO INSTITUTE INDEPENDENT PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO THE UNPROVOKED BRUTALITIES, KILLINGS OF INNOCENT GHANAIANS ON 7TH DECEMBER, 2020, INHUMANE COMMENTS MADE BY THE 1ST DEPUTY SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT, HON. JOSEPH OSEI-OWUSU AND MILITARY INVASION OF PARLIAMENT.
We, the leadership of CSOs including Anchoring Democracy Advocacy Movement Ghana (ADAM-GH), Community Focus Foundation Ghana (CFF-Ghana), Coalition of CSO’s Against Political Vigilantism ( CCAPV), African Center For Health Policy Research and Analysis (ACH-PRA), Back Bone For Good Governance, Democratic Credentials Network Ghana (DCN-Ghana), Grassroots Mobilizers Network, and Strategic Thinkers Network, Africa (STRANEK-Africa), IN EXERCISE of our Sovereignty as a people of Ghana under Article 1(1) of the 1992 Constitution, and in further exercise of our natural and inalienable right to demand responsible governance, which shall secure for ourselves, and posterity the blessings of liberty, equality of opportunity and prosperity; AND IN SOLEMN declaration and affirmation of our commitment to; Freedom, Justice, Probity and Accountability; The Principle that all powers of Government spring from the Sovereign Will of the People; The Rule of Law; The protection and preservation of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms, Unity and Stability for our Nation; Do humbly wish to bring to your attention very worrying happenings in Ghana as a result of the 2020 election debacle.
SECURITY INFRACTIONS, BRUTAL KILLINGS AND INHUMANE COMMENTS MADE BY THE 1ST DEPUTY SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT, HON. JOSEPH OSEI-OWUSU AGAINST THE FALLEN INNOCENT GHANAIANS;
Speaker, as you may be aware, periodic ‘free and fair’ elections are the heart and soul of any fledgling democracy of which Ghana’s democratic enterprise is no exception. Article 21 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in December 1948, famously set the standard: ‘The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage’
In fact, the 2020 elections in Ghana was characterized with fear, tensions and anxiety as a result of the sequence of event preceding the 7th December, 2020 elections. The conduct of the Electoral Commission (EC) culminated with scattered incidences of violence across the country. It was evidently clear that during the recent voter registration exercise, violent activities of party hoodlums was on the increase. It is important to note that during the voter registration exercise in July, 2020, electorates in a number of constituencies including Banda in Bono, Ketu South in Volta, Ahafo Ano North & South in Ahafo, Sekyere Afram Plains in Ashanti, Nkwanta South, Akan, all in Oti, Asuogyaman, Atiwa East in Eastern, Upper Denkyira East and West, Assin North, Central and South, Awutu Senya East (the shooting incidence by the MP, Hon. Hawa Koomson), Weija Gbawe (the intimidation and beating of EC officials at Heater Hill Top Gbawe Zero) Agona West and East all in the Central Region and many others across the nation recorded one violent activity or the other.
Mr. Speaker, on the election day, combine efforts from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana armed forces, the National Security, the Fire Service, Ghana immigration Service, Ghana Customs Service which formed the National Elections Security Task Force provided security in all 38,622 polling centers, 275 collation centers and 16 regional collation centers set up by the EC. The presence and professionalism of the security officers at the polling centers contributed to the maintenance of peace and smooth voting process during voting periods. Unfortunately, eight unarmed civilians gathered at the Ablekuma Central, Techiman South and Odododiodoo constituency collation centers to witness the collation of election results were short and killed for no apparent reason. The unprofessionalism demonstrated by the security officers at these collation centers mutilated the good work done by the National Election Security Task Force. To us, the alleged integration of party vigilantes into the regular state security architecture has however lowered the standards and professionalism of our security services. Normally, such violence are perpetrated by party supporters. However, today, the eight (8) unarmed civilians were gruesomely killed by uniform security personnel who are by law mandated to protect lives, properties and territorial boarders against external aggression.
Rt. Hon. Speaker, in this regard, among other things, we hold as unfortunate, the alleged inhumane comments made by the 1st Deputy Speaker of the Ghanaian Parliament, Hon. Joseph Osei-Owusu that the innocent citizens killed by the military on 7th December, 2020 are criminals and there is no need for the president to commiserate with the bereaved family during his last State of the Nation Address beats our imagination. We consider those reported comments made by the Hon. Member highly offensive and condemnable. Seriously, his unpopular comments betray his commitment to defend and upheld the constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
For the foregoing, we humbly petition your high office as follows;
That in the spirit of accountable governance and in defence of the 1992 Constitution, we humbly ask for an independent parliamentary inquiry into the killings of the 8 Ghanaian citizens for justice to be served;
- The circumstances leading to the shooting and or killing of these innocent Ghanaians.
- Recommend the appropriate legal remedies deemed appropriate.
We hope our PETITION would be given the urgent attention it deserves.
Thank you and God bless our motherland, Ghana.
Signed by the under listed organizations:
- Anchoring Democracy Advocacy Movement Ghana (ADAM-GH)
- Community Focus Foundation Ghana (CFF-Ghana)
- Coalition of CSO’s Against Political Vigilantism ( CCAPV)
- African Center For Health Policy Research and Analysis (ACH-PRA)
- Back Bone For Good Governance
- Democratic Credentials Network Ghana (DCN-Ghana)
- Grassroots Mobilizers Network
- Strategic Thinkers Network, Africa (STRANEK-Africa),
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