Ashaiman: Residents demand justice after military molestation
The traditional council, former members of Parliament and political parties in the Ashaiman area have joined in the condemnation of how the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) reacted after a soldier was reportedly killed in the area at the weekend.
They are therefore demanding that justice should be served those who were attacked and beaten by the military in what seemed to be a retaliatory move.
Graphic Online's Benjamin Xornam Glover reports from Ashaiman that angry residents are demanding justice following the military raid on the community on March 7, 2022
Clad in red head and armbands, the residents, peeved about the action of the soldiers demanded justice for their fellow residents who were molested.
Some soldiers invaded Ashaiman on March 7, 2023 after their colleague was killed in the area on Saturday, March 4, 2023
In a bid to find perpetrators of the said murder, the soldiers took over the streets of Ashaiman to brutalise some residents and arrested 184 suspects.
They have since released 150 people with the remaining 34 in custody.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Ghana Armed Forces explained that the operation was sanctioned by the Military High Command and that the suspects would be handed over to Ghana Police for further action.
Ashaiman Lives Matter
Addressing a press conference Thursday (March 9, 2023) under the aegis of “Ashaiman Lives Matter” opinion leaders in the community, led by the Regent of Ashaiman, Nii Annang Adjor condemned the attack and killing of the young soldier- Sherrif Imoro and the reprisal attacks by the soldiers.
The opinion leaders who addressed the media included former members of Parliament for the Ashaiman constituency, Franklin Winfred K. Aheto, Alfred Agbesi, and the current MP, Ernest Norgbey, a lawyer, Emmanuel Kumadey a.k.a. Lawyer Akokor, the NPP Ashaiman constituency Chairman, Alexander Amanor and the NDC Vice Constituency Chairman, Francis Damasi.
The opinion leaders while condemning the killing of the 21-year-old soldier, Sherif Imoro and commiserating with the family of the deceased, called on the police to speed up their investigations and bring the perpetrators to book.
They called on the President to immediately set up a committee to investigate the criminal acts of the soldiers and the culprits punished.
The group also called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces to order the immediate release of all residents of Ashaiman that the soldiers were “illegally” keeping in their custody.
They further called on the President to direct the Minister of Defence to pay for all damaged properties as well as compensation to all innocent victims brutalised by the military in the swoop.
They urged the Assembly to provide street lights in all communities in Ashaiman since darkness was a contributing factor to criminal activities in the area.
The convenors of the press conference called on the media, civic society groups, professional bodies like the Ghana Bar Association, religious bodies among others to join the residents of Ashaiman in condemning the violence and criminal acts of the soldiers.
“Consistently and persistently, the Ghana Armed Forces have taken Ashaiman as their training ground for unleashing violence on innocent citizens with impunity. We are saying loud and clear that we have suffered enough and enough is enough,” Mr Kumadey told the media.
Rule of law
The Regent of Ashaiman, Nii Annang Adjor condemned the killing of the soldier and the retaliation meted out by the soldiers on the residents.
“If we should keep quiet over this, we don’t know who will be the next victim. Ghana is a democratic hcountry and human rights and the rule of law must be preserved at all times,” he said
The MP for Ashaiman, Ernest Norgbey advised residents in the aftermath of the incident not to take the law into their own hands but trust their leaders in the community to fight for justice on their behalf.
He reiterated his pledge to table the matter before the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament for justice to prevail and compensation paid to the affected persons.
Mr Norgbey said if all those efforts fail, they would be compelled to petition the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and possibly the court for justice to prevail.
Messrs Aheto and Agbesi, past MPs of the Ashaiman Constituency as well as leaders of the NDC and NPP in the Constituency all condemned the incident and the resultant violence unleashed on the people of Ashaiman.