Nkoranza mayhem: We can’t just accept the Police narrative – Cambridge Criminologist

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A Criminologist at the University of Cambridge, Professor Justice Tankebe, has said that the narrative by the Police following the death of the 27-year-old Albert Donkor who reportedly died in Police custody at Nkoranza in the Bono East region, cannot be accepted.

He explained that a lot of times, during deadly upheavals like what is happening in Nkoranza, the Police would explain that they acted on the basis of intelligence they had gathered, a narrative he notes, is always accepted on its face value.

This time round, he said the statement of the Police cannot just be consumed as the gospel truth.

The Police Professional Standards Bureau (PPSB) of the Ghana Police Service took over investigations of what what they described as death of a robbery suspect at Nkoranza.

A statement issued by the Police on Tuesday May 17 said “Following the death of suspect Albert Donkor, the Bono East Police Regional Police Command held engagements with the family of the deceased and other relevant stakeholders in response to their concerns regarding the incident.”

It added “Also, the Police Professional Standards Bureau (PPSB) has commenced an investigation into the incident to ascertain whether the operation was carried out in line with the Standard Operating Procedure of the service. a team from the PPSB has visited the area in this regard.”

Speaking in interview with TV3’s Komla Adom on the mid day news on Wednesday May 18, Professor Tankebe “When we have public order situations and we send Police officers there fully armed, we should expect nothing but what we so often see, which is the killing of protestors. As long as we lack the institutional arrangement to hold officers to account, to minimize the use of excessive force, I am afraid there will be many more of such situations.”

He added “Do the Police have the legal rights sometimes to use deadly force? We will say, yes they do have that right. But what happens when they do that? I think what we have in Ghana is that anytime the Police have shot and killed civilians they suspected of being armed robbers we just accept the Police’s narrative that there was an intelligence-led action that resulted in the killing of armed robbers.

“But we cannot have a democracy in which we simply accept the Police’s narrative especially where we have a history of some killings proving to be actually illegal.”

Meanwhile, all police personnel in Nkoranza and its environs have been withdrawn with immediate effect, 3news.com has gathered.

This follows demands by irate youth, who went on rampage on Tuesday, that they do not want to see any officer in the town.

The management team of the St. Theresa’s Hospital in Nkoranza in the Bono East Region where the mayhem is occurring, says one person confirmed has died, three have been discharged with four still on admission.

This brings the number of casualties to 8 instead of the 6 reported earlier by the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police Service.

A high-powered delegation from Accra arrived in Nkoranza on Wednesday May 18 following the disturbances in that part of the country.

The delegation is led by COP Tetteh Yehuno.

The delegation has been holding a closed door meeting with the Nkoranza Police personnel at the vandalized Nkoranza District Police station.

The Bono East Regional Minister Kwasi Adu Gjan assured that a thorough investigation will be conducted into the death of 27-year-old man Albert Donkor who was reported to have died in Police custody, leading to youth agitations in the area.

He said this matter will not be glossed over because it can happen to anyone.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday May 17, he said “We will not allow any conniving and condoning to this because today, it is Albert Donkor, tomorrow it could be me. I am lucky, I am the minister, I have the police with me, tomorrow what happens if I am no more a minister, anyone of us could be Albert Donkor.

“So, this is not an issue that we, those in authority including the traditional rulers will relent on at all. We assure them to keep calm.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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