Whatsup News has picked up a supposed leak from the much-anticipated report from the Emile Short Commission of enquiry into political party vigilantism. In the leak, the commission pointed out that the Special Weapons And Tactical unit (SWAT) of the National Security is illegal and must be disbanded.
“The establishment of this unit constitutes a violation of the Constitution which prohibits the setting up of parallel security organizations without the involvement of Parliament by way of specific authority under legislation. The existing legislation covering the functions of the National Security Council Secretariat do not provide for such an operational unit armed with lethal weapons for the conduct of offensive operations,” the officially unconfirmed leaked report stated.
The report chided the National Security Minister Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah for not being aware of the deployment of the SWAT unit to undertake a supposed “Confidence-building” patrol at Ayawaso West Wuogon during the by-elections.
The report was handed over to President Akufo-Addo about three weeks ago but its content has been kept under wraps.
In the leak, the Emile Short Commission confirmed that the SWAT unit was set up under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration between 2010 and 2012. It was thus, untrue that this unit was set up under the current NPP administration that took office in January 2017. However, the report scolded the NPP administration for maintaining such an unconstitutional unit in the security setup.
Under the heading “Forces,” the Short Commission stated that the Minister of National Security Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah, the Minister of State in charge of National Security. Bryan Acheampong, the Director of Operations of National Security Council Secretariat in charge of the SWAT Team (Col Opoku); the SWAT unit operations and the Tactical Commander of the ‘troops’ DSP Azugu, among others, testified to the existence of such a controversial unit.
“Some claimed they had known its existence since about 2010. There was the claim that the Tundra vehicle marked ‘police’ was acquired for the unit around 2012; and evidence that the current leadership took over assets of the Unit, including arms from the previous leadership early in 2017. The Unit at the time of its setting up, had both military and police members, and must have been led by a military person hence its current leadership profile; but was made up of police and civilian operatives at the time of the AWW incident,” the report stated.
The leaked report shows the Emile Short commission indicting the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration for setting up a “bifurcated reporting lines in the country’s security architecture”. The commission pointed out that this reporting line that gave undue power to the Director of Operations at the National Security in contravention of the constitution.
Critics have pointed out that the ruling NPP took advantage of the unit to recruit its party militias known as Invisible Forces. These party thugs on Janaury 31, 2019 stormed the ongoing by-elections at the Ayawaso West Wuogon (AWW) constituencies to unleash mayhem on people they singled out as members of the opposition NDC, including the Ningo-Prampram Member of Parliament Samuel Dzata George who was served some hefty slaps.
The heavily armed thugs in masks and military fatigues stormed the home of the NDC Parliamentary candidate for AWW and fired over 50 shots from powerful assault rifles. Fleeing supporters of the candidate sustained several degrees of injury.
The report rubbished claims by DSP Azugu that the masks worn by the so-called operatives of the National Security Council were to protect them from mosquitoes in the area.
“It does appear that the masks served as part of scare-tactics adopted to convey to those they believed were apt to make mischief to advise themselves. The Director of Operations of the SWAT Unit made no effort to obtain a search warrant to enter the residence of the NDC parliamentary candidate for the Ayawaso-West Wuogon constituency,” the report stated.
The SWAT Unit must have gone to the house of the NDC parliamentary candidate after they received intelligence that some persons suspected to be militia members associated with the NDC party were at the residence. That was why, upon their arrival, they ordered the men they found there to leave the premises.
Source: Whatsupnews Ghana