The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Working Towards the Promotion of Good Governance, Human Rights and Public Accountability in Ghana, has urged the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the Ejura killings and cause the criminal prosecution of all persons found culpable.
The call comes on the back of the killing of two protesters and the injuring of four others by military personnel at Ejura in the Ashanti Region.
The shooting occurred when a joint police and military team was dispatched to control residents who were demonstrating against the killing of a social activist in the area, Ibrahim Muhammed.
Videos captured showed some military officers shooting directly into the crowd.
A three-member Committee has since been formed to probe the incident in ten days on the orders of President Akufo-Addo.
But according to the Coalition of CSOs, using the Interior Ministry to conduct the investigation may compromise the integrity of its findings.
The Coalition in a statement noted that it will be more prudent if an independent body should be given the chance to investigate the killings to gain an intensive report.
“While we commend the President for directing swift investigations into this matter, we are concerned that the use of the Interior Ministry in conducting investigations into matters which involve agencies acting under the authority of the Ministry may compromise the fairness and
integrity of its findings. The Ministry of Interior which may have been complicit in the handling of this unfortunate incident at Ejura Sekyedumase cannot be judges in their own cause.”
“It is only proper that an independent body conducts investigations into this matter. In this respect, we call on the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) under whose mandate this matter which involves excessive abuses of human rights squarely falls, to thoroughly investigate this incident and cause the criminal prosecution of all persons found culpable,” the statement noted.
The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) comprising about 22 members, which condemned the excessive and brutal use of force by security officers deployed to the area, also urged all persons acting in the public space, including journalists, to be circumspect in their language in describing or reporting on this unfortunate incident.
“We also urge all persons acting in the public space (including journalists) to be circumspect in their language in describing or reporting on this unfortunate incident. The tendency to mischaracterise and perhaps trivialise such sensitive and critical national issues often do not help in ascertaining the facts of what may have actually happened.”
“We urge the youth of Ejura Sekyedumase, and indeed, all Ghanaians to remain calm. We must all exercise restraint and not engage in any acts of violence as investigations continue, in order to bring to justice all those responsible for the unlawful killings and injuries of our compatriots.”