Wednesday, September 30, 2015

President John Mahama has directed the police administration to investigate the  brutalization of some members of the Let My Vote Count Alliance and others during a demonstration a week ago.

According to Interior Minister, Mark Woyongo, the president, who condemned the “unfortunate” actions of the police, wanted a thorough investigation into the matter.

On September 16, the Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMCA), in collaboration with Movement for Change (MFC) and the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), planned to picket at the premises of the Electoral Commission (EC) at Ridge in Accra to present their petition to the EC boss stressing the need for a new voter register for the 2016 general elections.

The demonstration turned bloody when the police clashed with the protesters, hurting some of them in the process.

Mr Woyongo, who was speaking to journalists in Accra on Tuesday, said the police administration had assured him of a thorough investigation into the incident.

“The response of the police to the recent LMVCA demonstration has received mixed reactions from the public. In one breadth the police contended that the approved route for the demonstration was violated by the demonstrators, thus compelling them to use all means necessary to protect the EC, even after the court of competent jurisdiction had issued an injunction that barred the demonstrators from marching to the premises of the EC.

“In another breadth, members of LMVCA have accused the police of using excessive force in dispersing the crowd and in the process inflicted injury on some of their members,” Mr Woyongo stated.

He continued, “The general public should note that we are in a democratic dispensation where the rule of law must be adhered to. Demonstrators should follow the agreed routes. If we demonstrate because we want the right thing done, we should also do the right thing.”

LMVCA’s resolve to picket at the EC headquarters in Accra has suffered a setback. After receiving the green light for the demonstration from an Accra circuit court, the police quickly secured an ex-parte motion and succeeded in stopping the group from the demonstration which had been scheduled for yesterday.

The police alleged that they had picked intelligence from a source that suspected hardened criminals had planned to attack, rob and cause panic in Accra and other regions. They also said they were going to carry out an operation in some criminal hubs in Accra and other regions from September 25 to 30 to arrest suspected criminals hence, the motion.

Prisoners To Get Parole

Meanwhile, Mr Woyongo has hinted that the Ghana Prisons Service would soon introduce a parole system into the administration of justice to promote effective rehabilitation among prisoners.

According to the interior minister, the parole system would enable prisoners with good character and successful rehabilitation be released earlier than their jail term into the custody of a legally mandated body.

Mr Woyongo said though the introduction of the parole system into the Prisons Service was at the proposal stage, it would require the necessary legislative backing to bring it into force.

“The Service, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, has received funding from the Centre for Distance Learning and Open Schooling (CENDLOS). As a result, the junior high school (JHS), senior high school (SHS) and the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) programmes at Nsawam Medium Security Prisons, Kumasi, Tamale and Wa prisons, are on course.”


He added, “18 inmates presented for the 2014 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) recorded 100 percent pass. Some inmates who also sat for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) also passed and if the parole system is brought into force, some of them could benefit from it and attend university.”

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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