The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has softened its stance on the Commission of Inquiry investigating the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.
The opposition party has now said it will not prevent its members, who were attacked at the by-election, from partaking in the commission’s activities.
The Commission has said it will invite some persons in the NDC despite their boycott of the process.
A Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Peter Boamah Otukunor, told Citi News the party was still going to pursue other avenues of justice following the confusion in the by-election.
“While we will not participate in the activities of the commission, while we would be pursuing the course of justice for the victims in the attack, we would not stop or we will not bar any victim from appearing before the commission whether they are NDC members or not.”
The NDC and the Minority Caucus in Parliament have expressed fears the commission’s sittings are an attempt to shield perpetrators of the brutalities that happened during the by-election.
The party maintains the incident demanded prosecution for the security personnel caught on camera and implicated in the violence.
The NDC conveyed its distrust of the commission in an earlier statement.
“…the NDC is also aware that the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry is the government’s attempt to try to shield its party-affiliated hoodlums from criminal accountability. The Government is labouring under the assumption that setting up a commission of inquiry immunizes these criminal elements from criminal prosecution because of the decision of the High Court in the Ghana@50 case.”
“…we do not need an entire commission of inquiry to identify those who were involved in this illegal and unconstitutional operation,” the statement added.
Former President John Mahama has also questioned the essence of the Commission saying the matter was purely criminal.
“We all know what happens when Commissions of Inquiries are set up. The main usefulness of a Commission of Inquiry is to bring out the facts and put in place measures to ensure that such a thing does not happen again but it is not the most convenient way for sanctioning criminal conduct.”
Minority MP, Sam George was assaulted by multiple National Security personnel during the incident.
The NDC was compelled to withdraw from the election and has said the confusion during the by-election was state-sponsored violence.
Public hearings underway
The Commission of Inquiry held its first public hearing on Thursday, at the Christiansborg castle at Osu in Accra.
The public hearings are opened to the public from 10:00 am. The Commission also urged members of the public wishing to submit information, statements, or other relevant materials to the commission to do so through their secretariat.
The commission on Thursday hosted three key national security appointees; Minister of State in charge of National Security Bryan Acheampong, Minister of National Security Albert Kan Dapaah and Minister of Interior Ambrose Dery.
The Chairman of the Commission is Justice Emile Short.
It has former Dean of the Faculty of Law of GIMPA and private legal practitioner, Mr. Ernest Kofi Abotsi as its Secretary.
Henrietta Mensah Bonsu and Patrick K. Acheampong were also appointed as members of the Commission.
The commission has been given one month to complete its work.