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Nitiwul to face Parliament over soldiers abusing civilians in Wa

The Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, is to appear before Parliament next week to tell the House what urgent safety measures are being put in place to protect the journalist who recorded the recent military brutalities in Wa.

Apart from being asked about the safety of the journalist, Mr Cletus Awuni, who is also the Public Relations Officer of the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, the Minister would also respond to what is being done to protect and ensure the safety of the family of the journalist.

The House is inviting the Minister because Mr Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey, MP for Keta, has filed an urgent question on the safety of the journalist.

The Defence Minister has been scheduled to appear before the House, on Tuesday, 27th July 2021, to respond to the question.

The question is contained in the Business Statement for the Tenth Week Ending 30th July 2021, of the Second Meeting of the First Session of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.

Mr Gakpey said he was prompted to file the question, as a means of drawing the attention of the House and the nation to protect the journalist who recorded the brutalities of the military.

Background

In a viral video on social media on Thursday, July 1, 2021, some armed military officers were seen brutalizing some residents of Wa, the Upper West Regional capital, allegedly over a missing mobile phone.

The soldiers claimed they were searching for a stolen mobile phone, an eyewitness said.

The Public Relations Officer of the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, Cletus Awuni, was also beaten up by the officers after he captured the incident on video.

“They hit my head about three times and my back, and they also used a taser on my hands and my chest,” he lamented.

Several others sustained injuries as the soldiers unleashed their fury on any person they found on the streets.

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has said the conduct of the soldiers were “unprofessional”, and personnel found culpable will be sanctioned.

In a press statement on Friday, July 2, 2021, GAF admitted that the “unprofessional conduct took place at a time the Commanding Officer of the soldiers and the Chairman of the Regional Security Council were out of town for an official engagement”.

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