Victims of military brutality in Ashaiman, near Tema, were subjected to a horrifying ordeal where they were herded together, beaten, and forced to roll and exercise in mud. The shocking revelation has prompted calls for an investigation into the excessive use of force by the military.
Professor Kwadwo Apppagyei-Atua, an Associate Professor at the School of Law, University of Ghana, has urged the police to take action in light of the admission made by the Defence Minister and the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF). The military raid on Ashaiman was sanctioned following the murder of a young soldier on March 7, 2023, as stated in the report of Parliament’s Defence and Interior Committee.
During an interview on Joy FM’s Top Story, Prof Apppagyei-Atua emphasized the role of the Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, in the matter. He highlighted that the police had previously conducted an investigation into the young soldier’s death and now should condemn the military’s brutality and initiate a separate investigation leading to arrests.
“It is not too late for the police because this borders on criminality, so they can do their investigations, identify these culprits,” Prof Apppagyei-Atua stated. He further added, “The law should hold them responsible for the harm that they’ve caused to the residents of Ashaiman, the image of Ghana Army, and the image of Ghana as a country.”
While the Army has a tribunal to hold the culprits accountable, Prof Apppagyei-Atua stressed the importance of involving the police to ensure impartiality and professionalism in the findings. He also suggested that the investigation should reach the higher ranks of the Ghana Army, as the responsibility ultimately lies with those who gave the orders.
The professor acknowledged that junior military personnel who followed orders and participated in the atrocities should also be held responsible. However, he emphasized that those in command should face the harshest punishment.
Prof Apppagyei-Atua commended Parliament’s Defence and Interior Committee for their comprehensive report on the incident.
The incident in Ashaiman has raised concerns about the need for accountability and justice in cases of military brutality. It is hoped that a thorough investigation will be conducted to bring those responsible to justice and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.