Report Indicts Police In Twifo-Praso Deaths

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The Committee tasked to investigate the cause of death of two persons, allegedly shot by the police at a village near Twifo-Praso three weeks ago, says the police over-stepped their boundaries of operation.

The Committee said, although the assignment was legal, the team of police personnel who had been clamping down on illegal mining activities in the area went beyond their scope of operation when they went to Bimpo-Agya to carry out raids on illegal mining activities – where the fatalities occurred.

The Committee is among other things recommending the transfer of all police personnel who were involved in the operation from the Twifo-Praso District.

The transfer, according to the report, is also important because of alleged threats on the lives of police in the District.

On Friday August 9, 2013 residents of Twifo-Praso in the Central Region demonstrated against the police for allegedly causing the deaths of two people in the area.

The two were confirmed dead after about seven illegal miners were reported to have jumped into the Pra river in an attempt to escape a raid on galamsey activities in the area.

According to Joy News’ Central regional Correspondent, Richard Kojo Nyarko, the terms of reference of the Committee included ascertaining the legality or otherwise of events that led to the death of the two persons.

They were also tasked with establishing the cause of death of the two persons and especially determine whether they died of gunshot wounds.

The report established that the two drowned and that there were no gunshot wounds on the deceased persons, contrary to allegations by the agitating residents.

The report recommends that all 26 police personnel who have been serving in the district for more than six years should be transferred to other districts.

The reason for that recommendation, according the report is that the police “appear to have become too familiar with the residents thereby rendering them ineffective in the performance of their duties”, reported Richard Kojo Nyarko.

The final recommendation is that disciplinary action should be brought against the team leader, Lance Corporal Alexa Agbenu, for failing to properly carry out the duty assigned him by the district commander.

“He misled the District Commander by failing to account for one round of ammunition since entries he made in the station diary on [the team’s return] did not include same”, it said.

However, the report also said the District Commander should also be transferred from the Twifo-Praso area because stakeholders, such as chiefs and religious leaders have lost confidence in him.

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