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Short report: Only approved recommendations will be implemented – Gov’t

Government has said that state agencies which have been mandated to implement portions of the Emile Short Commission’s recommendations on the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence will in the coming days update the public with the progress made so far.

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah made this known in response to public criticisms that government has failed to implement the recommendations of the report.

Former President John Mahama also waded into the debate pointing out that, Akufo-Addo’s failure to fully accept the recommendations of the commission of enquiry was a mockery of the law.

But addressing the media in Accra today, Friday, January 31, 2020, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah explained that state institutions will no sooner than later make known the level of implementation to the government’s White Paper.

“The report was published and the government explained the parts of the report it accepted and the part that it disagreed with in accordance with our constitutional provisions. The various agencies tasked with implementing parts of the recommendations will be best placed to tell us how far they have come with implementing the parts –whether it is the police, the Attorney General’s Department and National Security Secretariat– they will update us. So the part that we disagreed with, you will not see us implementing that. This is customary with all government White Papers,” he said.

The Short Commission recommended the criminal prosecution of a national security operative who slapped Ningo Prampram MP, Sam George, but the government rejected the recommendation.

Government explained in its White Paper that a prosecution will not be necessary because there was a valid defence of provocation.

Speaking at a durbar to commemorate one year since the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election degenerated into violence, Mr. Mahama said the inaction of the government had compromised the peace and security of the nation.

“If the current constitution of our national security remains the same, in the case where we need protection, do we seek refuge in the Police who were unaware of these rogue elements using Police vehicles and who stood passively by as these elements rained terror on innocent citizens?”

“The President, Nana Akufo Addo who should be defending the law, makes a mockery of it and thereby sets a dangerous precedent by accepting that assault is permitted if one believes that one has been provoked. Why did the President pretend he cared about vigilantism and wanted to tackle it and yet refused to abide by the key recommendations of the Emile Short Commission which among others included the prosecution of identified offenders and the disbanding of the illegal SWAT unit.”

Sam George threatens to sue Nana Addo

Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George who was assaulted during the by-election, has indicated he will file a lawsuit against President Akufo-Addo next week, to challenge contents of Government’s White Paper

According to him, he will push Akufo-Addo to give life to recommendations made by the Emile Short-led commission by fighting back till he gets justice.

“The Emile Short Commission issued their report and indicted extensively the President and his dysfunctional appointments to the National Security apparatus and the individuals involved and identified in the unfortunate incident of 31st January 2019. The President has roundly rejected the findings of the Commission.”

“Myself and the NDC will next week file a lawsuit against Nana Akufo-Addo to challenge the findings of the White Paper and challenge the basis of the White Paper and the rubbishing of the Emile Short Commission and we call on his excellency Nana Akufo-Addo to immediately give life to the recommendations of the Emile Short Commission,” he said.

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