The Member of Parliament for Wa Central, Dr Rasheed Pelpuo has called for adequate compensation for those who suffered military brutality in the Constituency last year over a missing mobile phone.

According to him, persons who were unduly brutalized by the military suffered various degrees of harm and lose and the state should ensure they receive adequate compensation to regain their lives.

Hon Pelpuo made the call after the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament present its report to the House on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, after months of investigation.

Although the Committee had made some recommendations which included compensation, the Wa Central lawmaker said the compensation should be adequate to enable the victims to re-establish their lives and have suffered serious harm and loss of livelihood.

Some soldiers in the early part of the year were captured in the video brutalising some residents of Wa in the Upper West Region which was allegedly triggered by the theft of a mobile phone supposedly belonging to one of the military officers.

The victims were mostly commercial tricycle operators, motorists and pedestrians who were whipped and made to roll on the bare floor with some forced into gutters nearby. 

Several of them are said to have sustained various degrees of injury and two of them were admitted to the Wa Municipal Hospital.

One of the victims, a 29-year-old vulcanizer, Gafur Mahama is suspected to have developed a fracture in his right thigh during the assault. The actions of the military recorded on camera sparked some concerns on social media.

The perpetrators have been punished by the Military Command, as some of them have had their ranks reduced and some demoted to junior ranks.

The Committee in its report recommended “that the state should take urgent steps to promptly and adequately compensate all the victims of the military brutalities in Wa. It is noted that in the aftermath of the attacks the Minister of Defence paid the initial medical bills of the victims who were hospitalized. The gesture of the Defence Minister is commendable but should not absolve the state of its responsibility to adequately and promptly compensate the victims.”

The report presented by the Vice Chair of the Committee, Ophelia Mensah Hayford, further called for the swift prosecution of all the soldiers who engaged in the brutalities.

Commenting on the report, the Speaker took on the country’s security agencies and added that the House “will no longer tolerate police brutalities in the country. Parliament is the centre of this democracy in Ghana. The concept is very clear. We will be forced to take stringent measures to curb this when it persists.”

Having regard to the concerns raised during the debate on the report, the Speaker further directed the Committee to “consider all similar reports of enquiry on brutalities by security officials on civilians from January 1993 to date and report to the House.”

 “I can’t understand why that happened, so, I want them to investigate and get to the bottom of the matter. If we sweep matters under the carpet it can create a bigger problem for us. The military would apologise to the people of Wa. We have also identified the people who have been hurt and we will take care of them as well.”

“I want to plead with the people of Ghana that we should be a bit cautious with our utterances in matters like this. We are building society, we are building a democracy, and the military is a part of that,” he said.


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