CSO coalition urges government to rethink its refusal to prosecute Swat team member
The Coalition of Civil Societies Organisations Against Political Vigilantism (CCSAPV), Tuesday, urged the government to reconsider its position, of not prosecuting Mohammed Sulemana, a member of the SWAT team, who assaulted Sam George, the Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, during the violence that erupted at the Ayawaso-West Wuogon by-election.
The government announced its decision in the White Paper it issued in relation to the Emile Short Commission’s recommendations after its probe into the January 31 Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence.
In rejecting the Commission’s recommendation to prosecute Mr Sulemana, the government said the security operatives of the National Security’s SWAT team were provoked by Mr George’s derogatory remarks.
However, Mr Mensah Thompson, Chairman of the Coalition, said at a press conference held in Accra that, the government’s position created the impression that it was in support of the assault.
The situation, he said, could also cause civilians to put their safety into their own hands during elections, which could eventually degenerate into violent situations likely to undermine the peace of the nation.
Additionally, Mr Thompson urged the government to make a strong commitment towards paying compensation to victims of the violence by announcing specific packages.
Violence broke out near the La Bawaleshie Presbyterian Basic One School Polling station, when the SWAT team clashed with some men in the residence of the National Democratic Congress’ candidate in the by-election.
The SWAT team said it was acting on a tipoff, which indicated that there were ammunitions in the house and proceeded to force their entry amidst resistance from the men it suspected to be trouble makers.
Some people got injured in the process.