CHRAJ petitioned to investigate deaths in 2020 polls

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Two MPs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu; and Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Ellembelle, have petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the deaths that occurred in the 2020 polls.

The petition is lodged against the Ministers for the Interior and Defence, the Inspector General of Police and the Chief of the Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces.

The petition bothers mainly, on events that occurred at Techiman South, Odododiodoo, Ablekuma Central and Saveluguconstituencies.

The two MPs alleged that personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces did not conduct themselves in ways that promoted the development of the country, during the polls.

Their conduct, the MPs allege, rather caused damage to life and property. They further claim personnel of the Police Service undermined their constitutional duties during the polls.

The petition alleged that armed officers attacked, violently abused and killed some civilians in the Techiman South constituency.

This, they said, was carried out through indiscriminate shooting, despite the fact that there was no compelling threat.

The result of their actions, according to the MPs, was death caused to two individuals, 39-year-old Tajudeen Alhassan, and 18-year-old Abdallah Ayaric.

Apart from causing the death of the two, the officers also unlawfully assaulted and battered civilians gathered in front of the Brokyepem Hall, close to the Techiman Municipal Assembly.

The petition also states that Odododiodoo, uniformed officers used force by discharging tear gas and apprehending persons who were residents in a hotel, against whom no crime was alleged.

These acts are said to have resulted in two deaths. The petition went on to give other incidents which occurred in other constituencies.

The MPs attached as evidence to the petition, Medical reports on some of the dead and injured, Police reports, statements issued by the National Election Security Taskforce, media reports and video footage.

They served notice of their readiness to call witnesses to testify in support of the allegations.

The MPs contend that these pieces of evidence will show that the victims were indeed injured and killed by the direct conduct or actions of the National Election Security Taskforce.

They explained that CHRAJ has the mandate under article 218 of Ghana’s constitution to investigate violations of fundamental human rights, abuses of power, injustice and unfair treatment.

They conclude by asking the Commission to ensure that compensation is paid to victims and in appropriate cases their representatives. They also want disciplinary action and prosecution of officials involved in the matter.

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