Probe into Police brutality: 'We won't get justice' – Pressure group cries Out

Pressure group, Let My Vote Count, has described as ‘superficial’, the President’s call to the Police to investigate the use of brute force by some of its personnel  on protestors in Accra last Wednesday.

According to the Convenor of the group, David Asante, the call is lacking in substance, and expressed regrets that President John Mahama listened to the Police without the side of the protestors , to conclude that they veered off approved routes for the march.

“With the greatest of respect, does the President appreciate the position of the protestors as well?”, and noted that investigations into the matter is beyond Police internal disciplinary mechanisms.

The President last Saturday asked the Police to investigate the circumstance that led to the use of tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets on protestors who were to present a petition on Ghana’s voter register to the Electoral Commission.Some of the protestors suffered various degrees of injury.

One of the persons injured during last Wednesday’s protest being given first aid

The group is demanding a total overhaul of the voters’ register, the main document use for the conduct of elections in Ghana on allegations of foreigners on the register.

Speaking on the matter President Mahama said: “I have held discussions with the police authority and urged the command to review the unfortunate event of last Wednesday in line with policies and procedures that officers are expected to follow in response to incidents of this sort. The basic rights of all citizens must be recognised and respected at all times,” the president noted.

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But Mr. Asante has questioned the President’s directive noting that justice would not be served those who suffered injuries in the Police brutality if the Police is the one to investigate some of its own personnel.

“What happened last Wednesday is far beyond the police internal disciplinary measure. It is pure human rights abuse. We expect the president to look further beyond the police internal disciplinary measures and structures” he told an Accra-based radio station, 92.7 FM

“The Human rights of the citizenry has been abused and it has attracted international and Local attention . Life almost got to the point of being lost…These are critical matters, we do not expect the President to[express] regret”.

Mr. Asante said he was not happy with the directive by the President, especially when the Police has publicly cone out to defend its action on countless times, and asked: “What justifiable results do we expect? Are we looking forward to the Police coming forward to indict their own or implicate one of their own?”

He said he was convinced that the Police would eventually come out to justify the action by the personnel at the end  of the investigation, noting “I’m afraid justice may not be served to those poor souls”

He said for justice to be served, a proper and neutral investigative body should be set up to look into the matter.

He said in view of the group’s inability to present the petition at the last demonstration that turned violent, they have resolved to embark on another one at on September 29. 

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“This time around, we are sticking to guns, we are going to picket at the Electoral Commission,” he said, and noted that the Police has accepted the date but said “As it stands now, if there is any further directive concerning whether or not we could use the proposed venue, it has not yet been communicated”.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah/
Follow @steviekgh