General News of Tuesday, 20 November 2018
Member of Parliament for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak, has called on the government to publish the full report on the Manso-Nkwanta killings.
Manso-Nkwanta is a town within Mr Mubarak’s constituency and he believes making the findings public will put to rest claims and accusations by the police that the deceased persons were armed robbers.
Disagreement about the police’s account of events leading up to the gunning down of the seven has sparked clashes between them and angry residents who believe their compatriots were murdered.
“The committee’s report is now out; I pray that government makes it public so that this seeming disagreement by the police will be put right,” he said on Top Story on Joy FM, Monday.
Not armed robbers
The Information Ministry released a statement Monday that the fact-finding committee which was set up to look into the incident said: “there were no facts before the committee to establish that the deceased persons were armed robbers who engaged in exchange of fire with the Police.”
Police had justified the killing of the seven men on grounds that they were armed robbers.
Zongo chiefs and residents of Manso-Nkwanta, a predominantly Muslim community, said they knew the men that perished in the gruesome incident to be decent members of the public.
Related: Manso Nkwata killing: MP calls for prosecution of “murderers” in uniform
Some have described the killings as another instance of mounting and unsolved cases of police brutality.
The incident sparked violence between the police and residents in the area, prompting calls for an investigation.
Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and top government officials moved into the community to speak with the community leaders, paving the way for the fact-finding committee to be set up.
Once and for all
Police have said it will conduct its own investigation into the matter, suggesting perhaps the committee’s findings are in contention.
The committee is made up of a Justice of the High Court, a Pastor, a representative from the Office of the Ashanti Regional Chief Imam, Ashanti Regional BNI Commander and the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Director.
“This further justifies what I keep telling the government: that make this report public so that all of us have the opportunity to read the report,” he said.
He also called on the government to facilitate the process to compensate relatives of the victims.
Commenting on the report released by Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Security Expert, Adam Bonah, said police should have done a thorough investigation before defending the shooting.
“I think the police will have to draw some lessons from this incident by not going public and denying that [the killings were justified] without investigating,” Mr Bonah also told Emefa Apawu on Top Story.
He urged the police to learn from the outcome of the Manso-NKwanta incident by not holding a press conference hastily to clear its men.
“Lessons will have to be drawn, and I think that is what has caused the chaos in Asawase. Police must not quickly run to media with a position unless they have conducted an investigation,” he said.
He said any police officer found culpable in the killing should be made to face the law.