Ayawaso by-election: National Security deployed masked men – Minister

The Minister of State in-charge of National Security, Bryan Acheampong has admitted that some masked and heavily armed men deployed during the Ayawaso by-election were from the National Security.

According to him, they deployed the men to the La-Bawaleshie polling station after intelligence was picked up over some weapons that were being stocked in a warehouse near the polling station.

Mr. Acheampong appearing before the commission of Inquiry, probing the Ayawaso-West-Wuogon violence added that some police officers were seconded to join the unit that were deployed on that day. His claims are contrary to comments made by the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery who claimed that police officers had no hand in the operations of the masked men.

According to Mr. Dery, he had no idea of the deployment of the masked men to the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency and only saw them on national television.

Six people were shot at the Baweleshie polling centre of the constituency, compelling the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to withdraw from the exercise citing safety concerns.

Voters were electing a new Member of Parliament (MP) for the area in the by-election necessitated by the demise of the incumbent Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko last year, representing the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The by-election was won by Lydia Seyran Alhassan, a spouse of the late MP on the ticket of the governing NPP, collecting over 60% of the total valid votes cast.

Some masked security personnel who arrived at the premises were in SWAT inscribed vehicles and in some cases were being driven by people in Police uniforms.

But Mr. told the Emile Short led commission that the National Security was aware of the deployment of the masked men and their mission during the by-election.

The commission began its public hearing today, February 14. The Commission has requested members of the public wishing to submit information, statements, or other relevant materials can do so through their secretariat.

It has former Dean of the Faculty of Law of GIMPA and private legal practitioner, Mr. Ernest Kofi Abotsi as its Secretary. Henrietta Mensah Bonsu and Patrick K. Acheampong were also appointed as members of the Commission.

The commission has been given one month to complete its work.

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