General News of Monday, 19 November 2018
Member of Parliament for the Asawase Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, wants police officers suspected to have played a role in the killing of the seven Zongo youth thoroughly punished.
Some Twenty-one (21) police personnel upon the recommendation of the government, are to be interdicted and subjected to a formal criminal investigation, for their alleged role in the killing of seven Zongo youth at Manso Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region on July 17, 2018.
This comes after the seven-member committee which probed the killing stated that it found no evidence that the deceased persons were armed robbers.
But reacting to the committee’s finding which is yet to be fully published, Muntaka, who has been an advocate for justice believes although the interdiction is a preliminary step, more needs to be done to bring the perpetrators to book.
“The interdiction is not enough. Interdicting someone who has killed someone is just a starting point, but I think that should pave way for them to be properly prosecuted.”
“Obviously, it is not all the 21 officers who will be found culpable. If they are put before court, we will be able to identify those who are guilty so we deal with them accordingly with the law. At least, this will serve as a deterrent to others”, he added.
Government must fast-track justice process
The MP is also demanding from government, a speedy prosecution process.
“We need to continuously follow things up to ensure that justice is fully served. The individual police officers who murdered our compatriots are jailed; we want justice from the court. I want to entreat government to d as much as it can to get this process fast-tracked so that justice can be seen to be served and truly done.”
21 police officers interdicted over Asawase Zongo Youth killing
After months of delay, the initial findings of the committee have been made public by in a statement issued by the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah today, Monday, November 19, 2018.
It emerged that 21 police officers have been interdicted over the killings.
“Government upon a careful study of the report has decided as follows, the twenty-one (21) police personnel involved in the incident who have been found to be the principal suspects be interdicted by the Police administration and be subjected to formal police criminal investigation into the matter” the statement notes.
The Committee also said there’s no evidence that the deceased persons exchanged fire with the police before they were killed.
Police in Asawase shot and killed seven youth of the Zongo community and said they took the action because those persons were armed robbers and exchanged fire with them.
The killings triggered outrage and anger in Zongo communities in Kumasi with residents insisting on the innocence of the seven.
A seven-member committee was eventually set up after days of angry protests over the killings.
The committee completed its work and submitted its report to the Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia in September 2018.
Monday’s statement from the Information Ministry may have eased the tensions within the Zongo community where the delay in the release of the report had caused some discomfort among the families of the deceased and community leaders.