The Inspector-General of Police, Mr James Oppong-Boanuh, has justified the use of lethal force by his personnel in handling the protesters who marched in Ejura, Ashanti Region, recently.
Two protesters were killed by the police and soldiers on the ground.
The spontaneous protest was sparked by the lynching of social media activist Ibrahim Kaaka Mohammed a day earlier.
Justifying the shoot-to-kill strategy adopted by the security team that confronted the demonstrators, the IGP told the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Wednesday, 30 June 2021 that: “Honourable Chair, you and I know that in very fluid situations, there are no hard and fast rules when the lives of the police officers are threatened, that they should go through all these”.
“So, depending on the nature of the situation, you are dealing with, then you can go through all these,” he said.
“Let me add that if you are dealing with unarmed demonstrators, then you will not go for live amour but when you see somebody in the crowd holding a weapon, which is capable of being used to kill or injure a police officer, our laws permit us to use lethal force to eliminate that threat to the officers on duty.
“So, it depends on the situation you are dealing with,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Nana Akufo-Addo has instructed the Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, to conduct a public inquiry into the circumstances that led to the shooting and killing of the two protesters on Tuesday, 29 June 2021.
A statement signed by the Director of Communications at the Office of the President, Mr Eugene Arhin, on Wednesday, said the Interior Minister is to provide a detailed report from the inquiry, with recommendations for appropriate action, within ten days; that is by 9 July 2021, to President Akufo-Addo.
The president, the statement said, is deeply saddened by the deaths of Ibrahim Mohammed, alias Kaaka, Abdul Nasir Yussif and Murtala Mohammed.
He extended his condolences to the families of the deceased and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
The commotion at Ejura happened following the burial of Kaaka at Mempeasem cemetery at Ejura on Tuesday after he was attacked by unknown mob.
Some irate youth, after his burial, blocked the main Ejura Atebubu road, thus, impeding traffic flow to demonstrate for justice.
The police moved in with military reinforcement to quell the situation but the irate youth, according to the police, charged on the security personnel with all manner of implements, including firearms, clubs, machetes and stones.
The security officials fired into the crowd killing two and injuring seven.
Some Ghanaians have taken to social media to condemn the security personnel