Processes have begun to prosecute the police personnel behind the killing of some seven persons who were mistaken for armed robbers at Manso Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region last year, President Nana Akufo-Addo has announced.
Twenty-one personnel involved in the incident that triggered violent protests from the people of Asawase where the seven victims lived, have since November 2018 been interdicted while a service inquiry is instituted into their conduct in the case.
Announcing a compensation package for the families of the victims in Kumasi Tuesday, Nana Akufo-Addo urged the people and the families to remain calm as those found culpable in the incident will not be shielded in any way.
“Processes have been initiated that will result in the prosecution of any police person who is allegedly found to have acted outside the law,” the President revealed but did not say the extent to which it has gone and whether the service inquiry has been completed.
In July 2018, some police personnel shot and killed seven residents of Asewase at Manso-Nkwanta, who the police claimed were armed robbers.
Their killing led to agitations among families of the deceased as well as residents of Manso-Nkwanta who rejected the robbery claim by the police.
Government was pushed to set up a five-member Committee to investigate what led to the killing of the seven, following violent protest at Asewase.
Findings from the Committee’s report as stated by Government, found no proof to conclude the deceased were indeed armed robbers.
Consequently, government directed that some 21 police personnel involved in the incident be interdicted ahead of a service inquiry into their conduct in the case.
Addressing the first Zongo for Peace and Development Conference Tuesday, Nana Akufo-Addo said each relative of the seven deceased will be given 250,000 cedis.
The President admitted money cannot replace the lives lost but the amount was being “offered as a way of accepting the responsibility of the State in this tragic affair”.
He thus appealed to the family and the people of Asawase to continue to “exercise restraint as this sad, unfortunate matter” is addressed within the laws of the land.
President Akufo-Addo noted “some irresponsible people” were exploiting what he termed the inevitable gap between the occurrence of the event and its final resolution “to instigate residents of Asawase to resort to violence”.
“I urge you to continue to ignore these agents provocateurs, and continue to hold the peace, as you have done so admirably up to now. I assure you that justice will be served. I am determined on it,” he assured the people.