According to the Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, Joseph Whittal, the 1992 Constitution of Ghana mandates CHRAJ to conduct investigations into such human rights violations but explained that could only happen after an official complaint has been made to them.
On April 1, 16-year-old Christopher Bamah was brutalized by three military officers after he was accused of stealing a mobile phone in Tamale.
Narrating the incident on the Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, the victim’s brother, Richard Kombian, disclosed the three officers Corporal Samson Attuahene, Collins Agyei Boamah, and a third person grilled Christopher through severe forms of punishment from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. They chained him to a mango tree and subjected him to severe beating after which they sat for a chat.
Christopher is reported to have begged for his life but his plea was ignored by the trio. After several plea, Christopher was rushed to the Kamina barracks hospital and chained to his bed. He cried to be given water but it was not offered to him whilst in the hospital, the brother continued.
After he was discharged from the hospital, it was realized that Christopher was unable to sit down and he was vomiting blood. He was later recommended to be transferred to the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.
He was transferred on a public transport to Accra by the brother.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story, Mr. Whittal expressed surprise about the actions of the military men.
The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) is known to be disciplined, he said adding “Of late they have been indiscipline in their relationship with the public”.
Reacting to the issue, private legal practitioner, Francis Sosu said the actions of the military men contradict Article 15 of the 1992 Constitution.
Article 15 says: (1) The dignity of all persons shall be inviolable. (2) No person shall, whether or not he is arrested, restricted or retained, be subjected to – (a) torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; (b) any other condition that detracts or is likely to detract from his dignity and worth as a human being.
Mr. Sosu who also doubles as the lawyer for the victim blamed a Supreme Court verdict for clipping the powers of CHRAJ.
The Supreme Court had the opportunity to determine whether CHRAJ has the power to undertake investigations Suo Motu (without a complaint) but it says the Commission had to wait for complaints before it can act.
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