The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, has declined pleas by the three-member committee to disclose the source of a video In his possession.

According to him, he owes it a responsibility to protect the identity of the person as the Chairman of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC).

The said the video captured some angry youth chasing away a Police Water Cannon, which, he said, could have triggered the shooting incident.

Mr Osei-Mensah presented the video on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, when he appeared before the committee to testify as a witness in the riots that led to the death of two persons and four others injured.

Though the Chairman of the committee, Justice George Kinsley Koomson, accepted the video as evidence in the probe, hoping to get extra information from the source, the Minister maintained nothing will make him disclose the source.

He stressed it will deter others from providing relevant information that will aid the work of the committee.

“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.

Going further on the role he played as the head of REGSEC, he disclosed he sanctioned a military deployment after he received information about plot by the youth to burn the Police station, adding that it was in accordance with the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, Act 1030.

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“I took this decision in line with the Security and Intelligence Agencies Act, Act 1030, and specifically section 5 that establishes the Regional Security Council [REGSEC], and section 6 that gives the membership of the council, and also makes the regional minister chairman of REGSEC, and section 7 that gives the function of REGSEC which include maintenance of peace and security in the region,” he said.

In justification, he noted he has on several occasions used such a strategy with this being the first time casualties have been recorded.

The Committee is expected to investigate circumstances leading to the incident and recommend sanctions against persons found culpable by 9 July 2021.

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