The Bureau of Public Safety is shocked by media reports of National Security Operatives wrongfully arresting and allegedly subjecting one Mr. Emmanuel Ajafor Abugri, an online editor of ModernGhana portal and another individual to degrading, cruel and inhuman acts amounting to torture. Having ratified the United Nation’s Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as far back as 2016, Ghana should be seen working in close sync with provisions outlined therein for State Parties.
In the light of the foregoing the Bureau of Public Safety posits:
- That the Government, as a matter of urgency and in concert with the tenets of democracy, fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens, reconsider the continued use of ‘National Security Operatives’ outside of the statutory State security agencies.
- That the President of the Republic, as Chairman of the National Security Council must immediately relieve the National Security Minister off his job temporarily and set up an independent investigation body to probe the alleged case of wrongful arrest and torture of Emmanuel Ajafor Abugri and one other of ModernGhana website.
- That severe and deterring sanction should be meted out to any person(s) acting for and/or on behalf of all the people of Ghana, or for oneself, found to have misconducted him/herself or misrepresented the issues to the public on the matter.
Under Article 13 of the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the State has a responsibility to ensure that any individual who alleges he has been subjected to torture has:
The right to complain to, and to have his case promptly and impartially examined by, a competent authority; and that step must be taken by the State to ensure that the complainant and witnesses are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of his complaint or any evidence given. We thus call on the Government to accord the alleged victims all necessary courtesies under the convention.
We wish to further call for the President to publish the full report and recommendations of the Emile Short Commission. This should enable the general citizenry appreciate at first hand the status quo of Ghana’s security architecture, the place or rightful place of so-called ‘National Security Operatives’ as ‘outdoored’ during the Ayawaso West Worgon Bye-election, and how private citizens need to engage with such bodies alongside statutory security agencies to ensure that at all times there will be no significant breach of the peace enjoyed within the country.