Parliament’s Defence and Interior Committee has been directed to proceed to the Upper West Regional Capital of Wa to investigate the conduct of rampaging armed soldiers who terrorised and brutalised residents of the township and apprise the House of its findings within a period of four weeks.
First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu who was presiding over proceedings on Friday July 02, 2021 gave the directives shortly after the Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu presented the Business Statement of the House for the week ending Friday 9th July to the House.
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu divulged to the House a viral video report on social media on Thursday, July 1, 2021 which showed armed military officers brutalizing residents of the regional capital allegedly over a missing mobile phone.
The incident, according to the media report, was said to have started at 1:00 pm and lasted for close to an hour at the Wa main traffic light with several of the victims said to have sustained various degrees of injury with two of them currently on admission at the Wa Municipal Hospital.
The rampaging irate soldiers apparently over a mobile phone they alleged was stolen by a commercial tricycle operator on Wednesday night came to the Wa-Kejetia crescent, brought about traffic to a standstill only to beat anyone they saw on site.
According to the report, the over 50 soldiers from the ten Mechanized Battalions allegedly left the barracks to the Wa Township and allegedly brutalized several people while injuring many in the process.
Eyewitnesses’ reports recounted how the officers who could not be immediately identified, stopped tricycles and brutalized particularly young men and claimed they were searching for their stolen mobile phone.
Some of the victims were whipped with canes and made to roll on the ground while others were pushed into the gutter and further beaten while others who attempted to film the incident were met with slaps with their phones smashed on the ground and completely destroyed.
Twelve victims were rushed to the Wa Municipal Hospital with two in critical condition while a 29-year-old vulcanizer, Gafur Mahama beaten to a pulp is currently on admission at the hospital, suffering from a fractured thigh and unable to walk or sit up.
A 29-year-old vulcanizer, who was a victim, is suspected to have developed a fracture in his right thigh during the assault while the Public Relations Officer of the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, Cletus Awuni, who was also a victim, told an Accra based Citi FM that, the soldiers dragged him out of a car and interrogated him for filming the incident.
The Minister for Defence Hon. Dominic Nitiwul who was in the House said the Military High Command have condemned the unfortunate incident and noted that the officers identified in the barbaric incident will be sanctioned.
He said the Command have issued a statement apologizing and condemning the unprofessional conduct of the soldiers indicating that at the time of the incident the Commanding Officer and the Chairman of the Regional Security Council were out of town.
According to him, the Ghana Armed Forces has instituted internal disciplinary measures to punish all the soldiers who have been seen brutalizing the civilian residents over the alleged missing phones adding that the Military cannot condone a state of lawlessness and allow soldiers to continue taking the law into their own hands.
The Bimbilla legislator further hinted that the Chief of Army Staff will lead a high powered delegation to meet with the people of Wa in order to reach an amicable settlement and foster unity between the Army and the Traditional Council.