Review & Restructure National Security-Emile Short Commission to Nana Addo

The Commission of Inquiry that investigated the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence has recommended for the president to review and restructure the Ministry of National Security establishment to ensure clarity of responsibilities and roles as well as lines of reporting.

Excerpts of the Commission’s report has also called for the establishment of a standing command and control centre tasked inter alia with the role of assessing and processing intelligence for rapid deployment.

‘’This centre will incorporate key officers of allied internal security agencies, including the police, military, national security, fire service, customs etc,’’ the recommendations read.

It has also recommended that the Minister of State appointed at the presidency to the Ministry of National Security should have a clearly delineated role with responsibilities indexed to that of substantive sector minister.

The Commission said: ‘‘this should establish a clear chain of command and the circumstances under which he or she can act in the absence of the substantive Minister.’’

On operational matters, the Commission recommended that as a matter of urgency, the police and national security establishment develop protocols for the assessment and rating of intelligence received; and subsequent deployment of missions, if any.

‘’The Commission recommends that no masked or hooded men should be used for civilian policing, especially in electoral policing or the execution of intelligence contingent on, or connected with, any ongoing elections in Ghana. The Commission recommends that SWAT teams and police officers deployed to maintain the peace and order on electoral grounds must have rigorous training in crowd control, arrests and perimeter security for both the ongoing electoral exercises and for any allied security issues that may emerge in an ancillary fashion. The Commission recommends that standard rules and procedures for the issuance of weapons and ammunition to police officers and operatives of the national security who are sent on missions and accompanying rules of accountability for these weapons and ammunitions should be enforced.

The Commission recommends that intelligence-based agencies should operate under the law and be guided by the fundamental human rights of citizens. In this vein, the Commission also recommends that operatives of the National Security Council should be trained to internalize human rights rules including the provisions on the fundamental human rights of the Constitution within their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs),’’ the recommendations read in part.

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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