The Military High Command gave the greenlight for an operation that took place in Ashaiman, a suburb of Accra on March 7, 2023.
The Deputy Minister for Defence, Kwaku Amankwa Manu on late Tuesday told Joy News that he had been informed by the military that their men who entered a section of the Ashaiman town in the wee hours of the day were there to apprehend murderers of a young soldier three days prior.
The deputy minister confirmed that the first time he heard of the operation, he called the Member of Parliament for the area, who confirmed that such an operation was underway.
“He (the MP) was actually in the constituency, so I told him I was going to get in touch with the CDS (Chief of Defense staff) which I did. The first thing is about a young soldier who was brutally murdered on Saturday while he was going to visit the family.
“And so, at dawn this morning the soldiers mounted an operation to find the perpetrators of this heinous crime and so the operations undertaken this morning was a sanctioned operation by the Military High Command,” he confirmed to Joy News late Tuesday.
He continued: “It is a well-coordinated operation, that basically is what is happening. Officially deployed to find out the perpetrators of this heinous crime and bring them to book.”
Dozens of military officers stormed Ashaiman in the operation that saw some soldiers entering the town in trucks, with an armoured car plus a helicopter hovering over the town.
The exercise is said to be in response to the gruesome murder of a young soldier by some unidentified persons on Saturday, March 4, 2023.
Videos of the invasion shared across social media show various forms of assault being meted on residents by the rampaging officers who subjected some of the residents to severe beatings.
Kofi Amankwa Manu in his interview with Joynews, admitted that the soldiers may have acted outside their jurisdiction by entering into a community without the collaboration of the police but was quick to justify that “when we are not in normal times, we cannot do normal things.”
The MP for the area, Ernest Henry Norgbey has confirmed that 72 men were arrested at the end of the operation and are military custody.
He has also called for a Parliamentary probe into the operation and its propriety whiles condemning the killing of the young soldier and calling for the arrest of the perpetrators.