President Akufo-Addo has assured members of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election Commission of Inquiry that their recommendations will be given all the necessary attention in order to avert violent occurrences in future elections.
Addressing members of the Commission after they presented their report to him at the Jubilee House, Thursday, President Akufo-Addo expressed excitement the work of the Commission had finally come to an end.
“The findings and the recommendations that have been made will, of course, be given the greatest possible attention by me and the members of my government,” he said, adding, “government has the responsibility of maintaining law and order in the country and that responsibility is not one that can be abdicated on in any occasion.”
According to him, the Commission’s findings and recommendations “can help us advance the course of law and order in this country. “I welcome it and it will be the subject of close study. Not sure if the circumstances of this Commission will call for the issuance of a white paper on our part, but we will look at all of these matters and we will respond appropriately,” he stated.
Chairman of the Commission, Justice Emile Short, in his remarks before presenting their report said: “all necessary grounds have been covered by the Commission and that government will find the findings and recommendations useful in shaping important reforms for the future.”
He thanked the President for setting up of the commission to investigate the cause of the violence that characterised the by-election that saw the mistress of the late Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon Lydia Alhassan elected to represent the constituency.
Members of the Commission were sworn on February 8 by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia. Tasked to probe the events of the violence which occurred during the by-election, the Commission started its public hearings at the Christiansborg Castle, Osu, Accra on February 14.
The membership of the Commission was Justice Emile Short as the chairman, Mrs Henrietta Mensah Bonsu, legal luminary and jurist, and Mr Patrick K. Acheampong, former Inspector General of Police. Mr Ernest Kofi Abotsi, former Dean of the Faculty of Law, GIMPA and a private legal practitioner, served as Secretary to the Commission.
The terms of reference of the Commission according to the statement that announced its formation were; 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 day of January 2019; to identify any person responsible for or who has been involved in the events, associated violence and injuries; to 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 to submit within one month its report to the President giving reasons for its findings and recommendations, including appropriate sanctions, if any.