Kumasi shootings: ‘Our findings will constitute duplication’ – Mr. Acheampong

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Member of Parliament for Mpraeso and the Chairman for the Interior and Defence Committee, Mr. Seth Kwame Acheampong, has indicated that the Committee’s intervention to investigate the shooting of some seven zongo youth in Kumasi, suspected to be armed robbers will constitute duplication of work, since the President, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo has constituted a committee to investigate the matter.


Mr. Acheampong pointed out that the Committee has to allow the Executive arm of government to conduct its investigation, to avoid any interference, since Separation of Powers is clearly defined in the Constitution.

In an interview with ghanajustice.com, Mr. Acheampong revealed that the Committee is keenly following the matter, and has again met the Interior Minister, Mr. Ambrose Dery, for a round table discussion on the progress of the independent committee.

Mr. Acheampong again disclosed that the Speaker of Parliament, Rev. Prof. Mike Oquaye, has not referred the matter to the Interior and Defence Committee in Parliament for probing.

He reiterated that “we must allow the President’s committee to do its work so that our committee will even evaluate the report which, we are mandated to do so. That is the essence of we not rushing to do anything”.

On the issue of political vigilantism, the Chairman for the Interior and Defence Committee explained that it is time for political parties and their leaders to respect the rule of law governing the country.

In his statement, Mr. Acheampong re-echoed that political vigilantism is a matter of importance and must be discussed extensively by stakeholders to avert any future instability in the country.

“My only concern is that we leaders, must reason and see beyond such behaviour. It is not going to take the country anywhere”, he averred.

On the Committee’s action against political vigilantism, Mr. Acheampong asserted that the Committee is responsible for the oversight of the Executive in respect of security matters and that, they are not direct implementers.

On the views and opinions of members of the Interior and Defence Committee, Mr. Acheampong said that the Committee is always nationalistic in its opinion and approach to business, and that it is very committed and dedicated to its work.

“I am enjoying the fullest co-operation of my members. We always arrive at a consensus. I became the Chairman of this Committee since I entered Parliament and I have never regretted being the chair of the Committee. My members are always nationalistic when it comes to issues”, he concluded.

Shooting of the seven suspected armed robbers

On Tuesday, July 17, 2018, some seven zongo youth suspected to be armed robbers were gunned down by a team of personnel from the Ashanti Regional Police Special Weaponry And Tactical (SWAT) Unit at Poano near Anhwiakwanta on the Kumasi-Obuasi road.

The suspected gun-wielding robbers, believed to belong to a gang who killed a Lance Corporal, Mr. Daniel Tieku of the SWAT Unit, in one of their operations, were said to have attempted to open fire on the police as they approached them.

According to the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Akwasi Mensah Duku, two pump action guns and an AK 47 assault rifle, as well as a helmet, and other offensive weapons said to have been used by the gang were retrieved from the crime scene.

Autopsy report and emerging issues

Some Zongo Chiefs in Kumasi said that an autopsy examination performed on four of the seven suspected armed robbers gunned down by the police indicated that they were shot at a close range.

The General Secretary of National Association of Zongo Chiefs, Alhaji Shuabu Musah Shariff, confirmed that some of the persons killed by the police had as many as 16 pellets of bullets retrieved from their bodies.

Protest and counter information

Residents of the area mobilised some youth and burnt car tyres in the middle of the roads to protest the killings.
They also blocked all roads leading to the area from the Kumasi Central mosque.

Several attempts by the police and opinion leaders to restore calm,failed.

Relatives of the seven men killed by police said that the Kumasi police framed the deceased persons by planting weapons on them after killing them.
They insisted that the seven men were not robbers but were instead, killed in cold blood.

The President’s independent Committee on the shooting incident

On July 20, 2018, the government set up an independent committee to investigate the circumstances that led to the killing of the seven people from Zongo communities in Kumasi by the police.

The Information Ministry explained that the government took the decision as a result of the conflicting accounts received by the government over the issue.

In a statement signed by the Deputy Information Minister, Mr. Curtis Perry Kwabla Okudzeto asserted that “since the police and the families of the seven young men have different versions of the occurrence, the government has decided to set up an independent committee to investigate the matter”.

Number of killings through shooting by the police

The Police in the last twelve months has reportedly killed 22 individuals who were alleged to have been mistakenly targeted as armed robbers.

In most of the cases, the Police claimed they took the action because those persons were believed to be armed robbers.

Source: GhanaJustice/S. Saint-Ayisi


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