A group has petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), to investigate the abuse of power and human rights abuses perpetrated by officers of the National Service Secretariat (NSS) under the command of Mr Mustapha Ussif, the National Director of the Secretariat, on the imposition of branded National Service cloth on the service personnel.
”We the undersigned, on this 23rd day of April 2020 write to petition the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), to investigate the abuse of power and human rights abuses perpetrated by officers of the National Service Secretariat (NSS) under the command of Mr Mustapha Ussif, the National Director of the Secretariat, on the imposition of branded National Service cloth on us.” The petitioners said.
The petitioners indicated, they were citizens of Ghana in good standing, and currently undergoing their mandatory National Service as enshrined in the National Service Act 1980 (ACT 426) of the Republic of Ghana.
The group said it has hope in CHRAJ as a Commission which exists to protect fundamental human rights and to ensure good governance of every person.
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”On Wednesday 1st April 2020, we received text messages from the Secretariat which reads, “NSPs are informed that your NSS branded cloth is ready at the various offices for pick-up”. We realised from our March allowances that Gh¢50 had been deducted as a charge for the said cloth.” the group indicated.
”This decision is tainted with fraud and the paragraph below is our stand;
1. The Secretariat infringed on the National Service Personnel rights to dissent.
2. We are not privy to the terms and conditions of any contract that gave birth to the imposition of the said cloth purported to have been entered on our behalf by the executives of the 2018/2019 National Service Personnel Association (NASPA).
3. The contract that gave birth to our mandatory service to the country never specified the deduction of Gh¢50 for a cloth.
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- That the current NASPA executives were not consulted on the branded cloth.
- The introduction of branded cloth is untimely and against the wishes of the Personnel as we are left with a few months to the end of our service.
- That there is a breach of law and abuse of power when the cloth is imposed on Service Personnel with a complete absence of our freewill.
That the imposition of cloth by the National Service Secretariat on innocent Personnel who cannot survive under the current meagre Service allowances undermines the letter and spirit of ‘freedom to join’ associations which are explicitly stated in Article 21 clause (e) of the laws of the Republic of Ghana.”
The petitioners said they wanted the CHRAJ to ;
- Investigate the actions of the Secretariat in respect of the imposition of cloth on the personnel and determine to what extent those actions constitute (i) abuse of power and (ii) violation of the rights and freedoms of Service personnel, who in the collective interest of the Republic of Ghana, are undergoing mandatory service.
Initiate or cause to be initiated proceedings that would lead to our unfairly deducted allowances being refunded.
Halt or cause to halt the distribution of clothes to the Personnel until the substantive case before the commission is determined to prevent any occurrences that may arise as a result of the cloth imposition.
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Take any other appropriate actions consequent upon these investigations; pursuant to the Commission’s power under article 218 (a) and (c) of Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice Act, 1993 (ACT 456).
Cause NSS to make the purchase of their cloth optional other than being compulsory
We are available to assist with investigations when called upon.
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