Asawase killings: Families cry for justice a year after incident

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A year on after the killing of some seven men from the Zongo community in Asawase, families of the bereaved say they are being deprived of justice.

The families and the Zongo community are questioning why the police officers who killed the men have not been sanctioned despite their recommended indictment.

A seven-member government committee was tasked to investigate the shooting incident after initial claims that the seven men were robbers.

But the committee found no evidence to back the police’s claims and, in all, 21 police officers were found to be involved in the killings at Manso-Nkwanta and were recommended for interdiction by the Police administration.

Before the interdictions, members of the Zongo community in Kumasi expressed their anger with violent protests.

Relatives of the seven accused the police of planting guns to frame the deceased persons after they were gruesomely killed.

President Nana Akufo-Addo on January 8, 2019, announced a GHS 1.7 million compensation package for the families of the seven young men wrongfully shot and killed by the police in July 2018.

After President Nana Akufo-Addo himself assured the Zongo community that justice would prevail, families of the bereaved are asking why it is taking so long.

Citi News spent some time with one of the women widowed by the incident, 37-year-old Humu Abubakr, a mother of one, who made an appeal to the President.

“I want to ask the President; what about the police who did that to them? They killed them for nothing. I want to ask the president, what about the police, what are they going to do to them.”

The Minister for Inner Cities and Zongo Development, Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has acknowledged the delays and told Citi News his outfit will follow up on the docket for the case at the Attorney Generals’ department.

“There were 21 police officers that were indicted and according to the lawyers, there were degrees of involvement for each one of these people and you need to isolate each one and charge them with the appropriate charge in respect of the degree of their involvement in the matter.”

After the seven men were exonerated, their families received compensation of GHc 250,000 each.

But even then, they said the money will mean little if it is not complemented by the prosecution of the police officers found culpable.

“These monies will help us a bit but it cannot bring what would have been there if my brother was to be there because what he could have done for the family would have been better than what we have received,” one of the bereaved said at the time.

The names of the police officers interdicted were identified as:

DSP Edward Boateng

Inspr Michael Appiah

Sgt. Eric Fofie

Sgt Anthony Yankee

Sgt. Prince Mpere

Sgt. Frank Essel

Sgt. Williams Albert Davidson

Cpl Edward Baah

Cpl Kwame Anokye

Cpl Emmanuel Turkey

L/cpl Samuel Ataafi

L/cpl Maybell Adoboli

L/cpl Ijon Jonathan

L/cpl Jonas Kantinka

G/c2 Emmanuel Papa Awotwe

G/c2 Samuel Opoku Mensah

Pw G/c2 These Afoakwa

Pw G/C2 Ivy

Cpl Frederick Acheampong

G/c2 Bright Anopansuo

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