Associate Professor at the School of Law, University of Ghana, Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua has condemned the actions of the military in Ashaiman on Tuesday, March 7.
Speaking on Newsfile on Saturday, he said the military’s abuse of residents in the Accra suburb goes against the country’s laws especially when the constitution clearly stipulates how citizens should be treated.
“What happened at Ashaiman violates every law in our book…the fact that we have a whole chapter in our constitution on human rights and for the dignity of human beings to be degraded to that level is appalling. It is best condemned in the strongest terms,” Prof Appiagyei-Atua said.
He told the host Samson Lardy Anyenini that after 30 years of Ghana’s return to constitutional rule, the rule of law should work to protect the public and for people to be considered citizens, not spectators.
“What happened really takes us generations back, and it is a sour reminder of our past…some of us who experienced a little bit of military rule and the fact that there was lawlessness and disorderliness, I think that is what happened at Ashaiman.”
“I feel outraged, dismayed and so disappointed about what has happened in 21st century Ghana after 30 years of return to constitutional rule.”
Last Saturday, March 4, 2023, a young soldier was allegedly murdered at Ashaiman Taifa by unknown persons.
Angered by his death, the military in the early hours of March 7, stormed Ashaiman and brutalised some residents in a search for the murderers.
They also took some of the residents away for interrogation. Most of them have since been released as of Friday.
The MP for the area then condemned the act by the military men.
According to him, although the killing of the soldier was a dastardly act, “we cannot take the laws into our hands whether we are lawmakers or security agencies.”
However, the Ghana Armed Forces says the operation was merely a swoop in a man-hunt for some criminals and not for vengeance.
According to GAF, “the military operation, which was sanctioned by the Military High Command, was not to avenge the killing of the soldier but rather to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous crime.”
But Prof Appiagyei-Atua says this is hogwash.
He believes that the military officers who brutalised innocent citizens in Ashaiman be brought to book as the law stipulates.
“It is the wish of well-meaning Ghanaians that this matter is not swept under the carpet and that the people involved are sanctioned and punished,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the police through its own intelligence-led operations have revealed that they have arrested key suspects in the murder of Sheriff Imoro.