The Committee of Inquiry set up to investigate the chaos that rocked Ejura on June 29, 2021 had it challenging convincing the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah to assist them identity one of the persons who he claims gave him intel on the issue.
The Minister who was the first person to appear before the committee produced a video which captures some youth in the area pelting the police water cannon vans with stones.
The committee after initial examination of the video accepted it as evidence and requested Simon-Osei Mensah to make available the source that handed him the video.
Osei-Mensah however declined the request on the basis stating: “I will not divulge my source.”
The chairman of the three-member committee, Justice George Kingsley Koomson, appealed with him to cooperate with them and assist them unravel the cause of the disturbances by producing the source of the video but Mr Minister refused the invitation.
The committee assured him that the identity of the source will not be revealed as its interaction with the source will be held in-camera but Osei-Mensah stood his grounds.
“My Lord Chair, if I bring the person, it is going to make my management of security in this region difficult. It would mean that nobody should give me information or intelligence again.
“I have put all my numbers out there to the various radio stations that any time you have information, you can reach me on these numbers and people voluntarily give me information and that is going to cease. I am afraid; it will seriously affect my management of security in this region,” he said.
After a while, the Minister gave a conditional promise that “I will speak to the person and if he agrees, I will bring him.”
Simon Osei-Mensah also justified his decision to calls of a military intervention amid the disturbance.
He claims to have received information that the youth were planning on burning the police station in the town. He however agrees that army personnel overreacted in their handling of the issue.
“I’ve used this strategy all this while. This is the first time we have casualties, and I think we should continue with it,” Mr. Osei-Mensah said.
He however added that “there must be more education and communication between the various security agencies as to how to act under such circumstances.
“I received information that they were planning to burn down the police station so based on this information, I ordered the police and military to go to the town and maintain law and order, and I did so as Chairman of the Regional Security Council because the law grants me that power,” Mr. Osei-Mensah explained.