Ketu South MP condemns assault of a woman by Immigration Officers 

By Iddi Yire, GNA 

Accra, July 09, GNA – Madam Abla Dzifa Gomashie, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Ketu South, has condemned the assault of an unarmed civilian woman, Madam Abigail Azaledzi at the Beat Nine Area of Aflao by two gun-wielding Immigration Officers at the Aflao border in the Volta Region. 

She made the remarks in her statement on the floor of the Parliament, dubbed “Statement: Condemnation of Assault by Immigration Officers at the Aflao Border”. 

“I am deeply disturbed and outraged by the contents of a video involving officers of the Ghana Immigration Service,” she stated. 

She said, the said video captures an unarmed civilian woman, Madam Abigail Azaledzi at the Beat Nine Area of Aflao being physically assaulted by two gun-wielding Immigration Officers at the Aflao border in the Ketu South Municipality. “Mr Speaker, this incident is not the first time. Mr Speaker, I seek your permission to show the videos of the incidents. I unequivocally condemn this unprofessional and heinous conduct,” Madam Gomashie stated. 

“No individual, regardless of their position or authority, has the right to inflict such violence upon another citizen”.  

She said the Ghana Immigration Service, entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding our borders, must uphold the highest standards of conduct and integrity. She noted that the actions of these officers had not only tarnished the reputation of the Service but had also undermined public trust.  

She reiterated that the incident raises serious questions about the service’s training protocols and the culture within the Ketu South border facility. C 

Madam Gomashie said citizens deserve to feel safe from violence, particularly at the hands of those entrusted with our security. She said the blatant disregard for the dignity and rights of a citizen in this manner was simply unacceptable; stating that under no circumstances whatsoever should armed uniformed personnel resort to physical attack, violence, and causing harm of any kind to be unarmed citizens, especially so under unprovoked circumstances.  

Madam Gomashie said the core mandate of the Ghana Immigration Service was to regulate and monitor the entry, residence, employment, and exit of all foreigners.  

She said the objectives of the Service include managing migration in the national interest by promoting migration that contributes to the economic, social, and developmental interests of Ghana and the communities residing therein. A 

Madam Gomashie said any conduct by officers and assigns of the service outside of these objectives might well be misplaced, where in this case it was unprofessional and unlawful. 

“Consequently, I call on the Minister of the Interior and demand the immediate suspension from duty of the officers involved pending a thorough investigation into the incident,” she said.  

She also expressed the hope that measures would be implemented to prevent such incidents in the future and ensure that the rights and dignity of all individuals were respected. 

“We must demand the highest form of accountability from those who serve in positions of responsibility and ensure that the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected,” she said. 

Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin directed that the Ketu South Lawmaker to make available a copy of the statement and the full video for onward submission by the Clerk to Parliament to the Minister of the Interior for investigations and further report to the House, latest by July 29. 

Contributing to the statement, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Suame, quoting the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, said: “The dignity of all persons shall be inviolable. No person shall, whether or not he is arrested, restricted or detained, be subjected to— torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; any other condition that detracts or is likely to detract from his dignity and worth as a human being.” 

He said the video that was shown to the House was disturbing. 

He recalled attempts by the House in 1996 to take certain powers from the Presidency by preventing the Vice President from chairing the Police and Prison Councils; adding that it was for security reasons that the framers of the 1992 Constitution made the Vice President Chairman of the Police and Prison Councils. 

Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, the Majority Chief Whip and NPP MP for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, extended his sympathy to Madam Gomashie and her Constituent, who was assaulted by the two Immigration Officers in the said video. 

On his part, Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza, the Minority Chief Whip and NDC MP for Adaklu, used the opportunity to totally condemn the action of the two Immigration Officers in the said video. 

“Mr Speaker, I agree that the entire Immigration Service is not at fault, indeed, there could be bad elements in every organization, and so we should be careful when we are talking about these things.” 

He called for openness and transparency in the recruitments processes of state security forces. 

Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, NDC MP for the Klottey Korle, also reiterated the need for a serious look to be taken at the criteria for recruitments into the nation’s security services. 

Mr Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwami Dafeamekpor, NDC MP for South Dayi, expressed his concern about the numerous Immigration Service check-points within the Volta Region; citing that there were about five such check points along the Sogakope-Aflao road. 

Mr Clement Abas Apaak, NDC MP for Bulsa South, said it was time they spoke out against protocol and politically influenced recruitment into the security services, so that those who had the requisite qualifications could be recruited and trained to serve Mother Ghana.