One of the relatives of the seven men killed by police after they were accused of being robbers, have accused the Kumasi police of planting guns to frame up the deceased persons after they had been gruesomely killed.
They insist the seven men were not robbers but were instead killed in cold blood.
Ahmed Salim Yuba told Citi News “the display of arms that they did, and ammunition, I can tell you on authority that they went to their armoury and took that ammunition and came and displayed it.”
“We have it on record that our people were not armed. They were not criminals. They don’t have anything to do with criminality,” he insisted.
The acting President of the Council of Zongo Chiefs in the Ashanti Region, Alhaji Aliu Rufai Alao also made similar claims.
“Today, we are waking up also to a rather unfortunate news about the shooting of seven of the youth from our community. What is worrying the most is that the police after killing them will bring in old ammunitions as exhibits and tag these innocent persons as armed robbers.”
Identities of deceased persons unconfirmed
Though the police are yet to confirm the identities of the alleged robbers, the Regional Police Command said the operation that led to the killing of the seven was based on intelligence.
The seven were believed to be part of eight suspected robbers, whose attack led to the death of a Police Officer with the SWAT Unit of the Ashanti Regional Police Command at Ayirebikrom near Manso Nkwanta.
Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kwasi Mensah Duku told the press there was a firefight between the alleged robbers and the police after non-violent options failed.
“The police signalled them to stop but they ignored the signal and started firing at the police. The police also returned fire and in the ensuing exchange of fire, seven unknown suspected robbers, whose names are yet to be ascertained, died,” he said.
Demand for probe
Some of the bereaved families have not accepted police explanations, and have called for a probe into the police’s methods.
“It was made known to us by the Ghana Police that he is an armed robber. But we know he is not an armed robber. The Ghana Police Service has carved a niche of a bad image for itself that it has been killing innocent souls to please their paymaster.”
“Even if he is an armed robber, the right thing you do is to cause his arrest, but the information we picked was that they were just standing there and the police began to fire at them,” one of the bereaved said.
The Chief Executive for the Asokore Mampong Municipal Assembly, Alhaji Alidu Seidu, sided with calls for a probe when he spoke to the press.
“The position of the family is my position. Their position is that they should do an in-depth investigation into the matter because we want to know exactly what happened.”
He also called for calm in the area in anticipation of more information from the police.
“I will call on all the youth of the Asokore municipality to remain calm till we hear from the police then we’ll know what to do from there,” Alhaji Alidu Seidu stated.
Protests over killing
However, on Thursday morning, hundreds of youth from the Zongo community trooped to Kumasi Central Mosque to register their displeasure over the killings.
The Zongo community in Kumasi has in the past had cause to complain over perceived stereotyping that has led to the killing of multiple Zongo youth over the past few months.
The leadership of the Zongo community in the Ashanti Region have vowed to rise against these killings.