There was drama at the Justice Emile Short Commission of Inquiry yesterday when an alleged member of the NDC’s Militia, the Hawks denied membership of the group.
In the public denial, Theophilius Sedodo, stated emphatically that he has never been a member of the pro-opposition militia group.
According to him, people in view of his stature rather tag him as a member of the group although he is not.
Testifying before the three-member-Commission of Inquiry tasked to investigate the violence that marred the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, he said he is neither a member of the Hawks nor any vigilante group in the country.
Not even the evidence of himself adorned-the hawks T-shirt in the NDC’s Unity Walk in Kumasi could sway him to change his stance.
“I am not a member of the Hawks but I wore their T-Shirt,” he said explaining the shirt was given to him during the Unity Walk organised by the NDC in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi.
He inisted he was given a T-Shirt with The Hawk to wear to direct human and vehicular traffic during the NDC Unity Walk.
Theophilus said his stout stature could have informed the ‘media distortion’ of his identity.
He told the Commission he has been unable to challenge this distortion because he knows “does not know who to complain to.”
The witness told the Commission he does not even know what the Hawks do or what they stand for.
Theophilus was one of 16 persons arrested during the violence recorded at La Bawaleshie, a community within the constituency further told the Commission that there was sporadic shooting in front of the residence of the NDC’s parliamentary candidate’s house.
He said he was standing in front of the residence of the NDC parliamentary candidate Delali Brempong where violence later broke out between an agitated crowd and a SWAT team.
He said he was arrested after the SWAT team encountered him by the house and sent to the East Legon District police.
The East Legon police commander DSP George Asare told the Commission, the suspect told him, he was at La Bawaleshie to provide security for the NDC candidate.
But at the Commission hearing Thursday, Sedodu Theophilus again rejected the police commander’s testimony.
He said he was within the constituency to help serve food, specifically rice water.
The witness said he first saw his images on Accra-based TV station, UTV describing him as a member of the Hawks. He would later see his image splashed in newspapers.
Meanwhile, the Commission is expected to end its public sittings today.
This, the paper gathers is as a result of its inability to have two of the witnesses tipped to appear before it to do so.
The Commission had in a statement announced to end its public hearing Thursday, 7 March 2019.
The statement said there will be a brief meeting with the press at the end of the sitting “for concluding comments on the Inquiry”, which “will also be a forum to answer questions posed to the Commissioners and officers of the Commission.”
The government set up the Commission to investigate the shooting incident by some national security operatives that led to the injury of several NDC supporters at the party’s parliamentary candidate’s private residence at La-Bawaleshie on 31 January 2019 during the by-election.
The Commission is chaired by a former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Justice Emile Short.
Legal expert Prof Henrietta Mensah Bonsu and Mr Patrick K. Acheampong, a former IGP, are members of the Commission.
The Commission was given a month to submit its report to the President.
The commission which has so far taken testimonies of several principal witnesses in the matter including the Inspector General of Police David Asante-Apeau, Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George; Commander of the National Security SWAT team DSP Samuel Azugu; and NDC Parliamentary candidate Delali Kwasi Brempong.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson