Military brutalities: Heads must roll – Murtala

Tamale Central lawmaker Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed has said heads must roll within the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) following the brutalities meted out to some civilians at Ashaiman over the killing of a soldier, Imoro Sherrif.

He indicated that some of these people who suffered the brutalities will go through a lot of psychological trauma therefore the state should provide psychologists to help them.

“If the president didn’t know about this action, heads must roll. Who sanctioned this action of the military?” Murtala Muhammed said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, March 11.

Private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu also criticised the military for the brutalities.

He said per the laws of Ghana, the soldiers had no business being there to engage in what they did.

Kpebu said what the Military did was not a swoop, rather a mob justice.

He explained that for a swoop to happen, there must be a reasonable suspicion.

“By now we should have been on the streets that the President should resign,” he also said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, March 11.

“What the Military did was not a swoop, it was a mob justice, it was vengeance, not a swoop.,” he stressed.

“There must be reasonable suspicion before you swoop,” he added.

He further indicated that per Article 2(10), the Military “had no business going there to unleash this mayhem.”

Martin further expressed condolence to the family of the killed solder.

Imoro Sherrif’s body was found in a pool of blood near the Amania Hotel in Ashaiman and suspected to have been stabbed to death.

The Military High Command on Tuesday sanctioned an intelligence-led operation to fish out the perpetrators of the crime.

In the course of the operation, several civilians reported of brutalities meted out to them.

A Security Expert, Professor Kwesi Aning also criticized the Military Command for how the brutalities meted out to some civilians at Asahiman by some men in uniform were handled.

According to him, the response by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in their statement was rushed, and not thought through.

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In his view, the reaction of the GAF undermined their own credibility.

Speaking on the News 360 on TV3 Thursday, March 9, Professor Aning who is also the Director, Faculty of Academic Affairs & Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, said “The bigger challenge in the failure is that Parliament has not spoken, and the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Interior, with a deputy who was a former personnel from the Ghana Police Service, ought to show leadership and that leadership is lacking.

“The Deputy Defence Minister, as I have said earlier, has shown political maturity and humility by saying, look, there were some unfortunate excesses but it is Parliament, particularly the Committee on Defence and Interior, that needs to invite the people who did the planning to come and answer some tough questions and to reassure the public post that conversation that we have learned these lessons, those who carried out the excesses will also be dealt with.

“The Militray tells us that it was an intelligence-led operation or that they used intelligence and were targeted. I think the series of explanatory statements coming from the army itself have been unfortunate. When you read the press release carefully and you do a discourse analysis of the release, it was hastily put together, it wasn’t thought through and undermines this credible and creditable institution.”

GAF confirmed Tuesday’s operation in Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region by some officers, saying the exercise was sanctioned by the Military High Command.

It said it was an intelligence-led operation conducted to fish out the killers of a military officer and not to avenge the killing.

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The Police after a week of sustained intelligence-led operation have arrested the key suspects involved in the murder of Imoro Sherrif.

“This is solely police intelligence work,” the Police said in a short statement on Friday March 10.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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