The Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, has told Parliament that the legislature and the Ghana Police Service cannot at the same time investigate the alleged brutalities meted out to some students of the Islamic Senior High School (SHS) in Kumasi on Monday, June 13, 2022.
He says such concurrent investigations by two public institutions are never done anywhere in the world.
At best, he said Parliament could wait for the Police to conclude its investigations and if their findings are not convincing enough, they could then launch their own inquiries into the matter.
“Mr Speaker, the IGP has issued some orders – that investigation is conducted into this matter. I don’t think Parliament should at the same time begin another investigation. For two public institutions to concurrently conduct investigations into the same matter is a matter that is worrying”, he noted.
He added, “Parliament should wait for the Police to conclude their investigations into the matter”.
The Nsawam-Adoagyiri lawmaker’s call came at the back of pleas from the Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka to the House to task the Committee on Defence and Interior to probe the demonstration by some students of the Islamic SHS in Kumasi during which more than 30 students sustained various degrees of injuries from alleged police attacks.
Alhaji Muntaka had on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, called on the August House to probe the alleged Police brutalities on the students after giving a vivid account of what transpired on the campus of the school on Monday.
“Mr Speaker, last week Friday, 10th of June 2022, one of the teachers of the school by name Madam Francisca was driving out of the school and an over speeding vehicle hit her vehicle into a ditch. She was rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
“Unfortunately on Monday, there were rumours for the students to believe that Madam Francisca was dead, and therefore in the morning, instead of the students going to school, they decided to converge in front of the school to register their displeasure about the lack of speed ramps the school has complained about severally and road signs to get speeding vehicles to slow down.
“Fortunately, the teachers and the Headmaster, and some police officers managed to get all these students back into the campus and even locked the school gate. Unfortunately, another batch of police officers came. When they came and got down, according to firsthand information from the school authority, they broke through the school gate, entered the school campus, and while the Headmaster was drawing their attention to fact that the situation was under control, they started firing tear gas and live ammunition. They chased some of the students into the dormitories and the classrooms and in the course of that, 38 students of Islamic SHS sustained various degrees of injuries”, he narrated.
He described the situation as worrying, especially, at a time the implementation of the Ejura report has been very poor.
“Yes the IGP has taken some steps. We are told that the IGP has removed the 2IC in the Ashanti Region and two other officers have been interdicted but Mr Speaker, this is not enough. We know how the Police have operated in the past. I am calling on this House that as a matter of urgency, I remember very well that last week you made several referrals to the Defence and Interior Committee of some of the brutalities from Wa, Nkoranza.
“We should add this to the Defence and Interior Committee and because this has just happened, I want to plead that they will have fresh information and will be able to do a public hearing on the matter,” he pleaded.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh commenting further commended Muntaka for raising the matter on the floor of the House. He also commended the IGP for his swift response to the incident by moving to the scene to restore peace and order and going further to remove the 2IC in the Region and interdicting two other officers.
However, he said he has also received a different account of the incident and disagreed with calls by Alhaji Muntaka for Parliament to launch immediate investigations into the matter when the Police are already doing that.
The Speaker directed the Defence and Interior Committee to visit the IGP and the Ashanti Regional Police Command over the incident. He also directed the Committee to visit the Islamic SHS, the hospitals where the injured students have been admitted and see to their welfare and report back to the House next week Tuesday, June 21, 2022.
“I think that our security officers should not in such cases, be releasing police with live bullets on such situations.
“But if the Police are actually investigating the matter now, what we can do as a House is to immediately show concern. Let the Police know that we are awaiting their report and then after the report, we are entitled to take further action,” he noted.