The ten battalion soldiers who were caught on camera assaulting WA residents are to face demotion.
Earlier, a viral video of military men assaulting WA residents was reported by the Minority Leader of Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu.
These soldiers were caught on camera whipping, slapping and beating residents of WA. It was a devastating day for these residents.
However, the four-member committee that was tasked to probe into the WA assault have concluded that these military men have to be punished.
Read Parliament’s Statement below.
The Four-Member Committee tasked to investigate the assault of residents in the Upper West Regional capital of Wa after its preliminary findings concluded that all military personnel on duty in Wa barracks on July 1, when some of them brutalised the residents have to be punished.
Consequently, the Orderly has been demoted from Staff Sergeant to Corporal whilst the Guard Commander and the Sentry have been demoted from Corporal to Private and Lance Corporal to Private respectively.
The Minister of Defence Dominic Nitiwul briefing Parliament on Thursday July 08, 2021 indicated that the trial of the Duty Officer who is a Lieutenant will, however, be carried out later while all other officers not identified in the viral video would be transferred outside the Region soonest.
He specified that the Military High Command has visited all the victims and commiserated with them adding that all their hospital bills have been catered for by the Military.
It may be recalled that Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu last Friday informed the House about a viral video report on social media on Thursday, July 1, 2021 showing armed military officers brutalizing residents of the regional capital allegedly over a missing mobile phone.
The incident, according to the media report, was said to have started at 1:00 pm and lasted for close to an hour at the Wa main traffic light with several of the victims said to have sustained various degrees of injury with two of them on admission at the Wa Municipal Hospital.
The rampaging irate soldiers apparently over a mobile phone they alleged was stolen by a commercial tricycle operator on Wednesday night came to the Wa-Kejetia crescent, brought about traffic to a standstill only to beat anyone they saw on site.
According to the report, the over 50 soldiers from the 10 Mechanized Battalion allegedly left the barracks to the Wa Township and brutalized several people while injuring many in the process.
Eyewitnesses’ reports recounted how the officers who could not be immediately identified, stopped tricycles and brutalized particularly young men and claimed they were searching for their stolen mobile phone.
Some of the victims were whipped with canes and made to roll on the ground while others were pushed into the gutter and further beaten while others who attempted to film the incident were met with slaps with their phones smashed on the ground and completely destroyed.
Twelve victims were rushed to the Wa Municipal Hospital with two in critical condition while a 29-year-old vulcanizer, Gafur Mahama beaten to a pulp is currently on admission at the hospital, suffering from a fractured thigh and unable to walk or sit up.
A 29-year-old vulcanizer, who was a victim, is suspected to have developed a fracture in his right thigh during the assault while the Public Relations Officer of the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, Cletus Awuni, who was also a victim, told an Accra based Citi FM that, the soldiers dragged him out of a car and interrogated him for filming the incident.
The Minister for Defence Hon. Dominic Nitiwul who was in the House said the Military High Command have condemned the unfortunate incident and noted that the officers identified in the barbaric incident will be sanctioned.
First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu who was then presiding over the sitting directed Parliament’s Defence and Interior Committee to proceed to Wa and investigate the conduct of the rampaging armed soldiers and report its findings to the House within a period of four weeks.