Family of man gunned down by policeman demands justice

  Some family members and neighbours of a man who was shot and killed by a policeman at Nmai Dzorn, near Adentan in Accra, last Thursday, have debunked claims by the police that the deceased was a criminal.

According to them, the deceased was an innocent man who was killed based on mistaken identity.

The deceased, Joseph Adjei, 24, was shot and killed last Thursday dawn by Sergeant Jacob Adorye, who led a team of investigators in response to a tip-off and search for a murder suspect who had been on the police wanted list for the past five months.

The murder suspect, Adesha Bagagyi, who was also shot and killed, was wanted along with four other suspects in connection with a murder case at Teshie over a chieftaincy dispute in August 2015.

Initial reports by the police following the shooting indicated that Adjei was harbouring Bagagyi in his house.

According to the police, the two attacked the team with a machete and an axe when they attempted to arrest them.

 Family denial
But the mother of the deceased, Madam Ayele Adjei, insisted that Adjei was innocent and did not attack the police as claimed.

She was speaking when a delegation led by the Accra Regional Police Commander, Commissioner of Police (COP) Dr George Dampare, visited Adjei’s family at Teshie  yesterday to express the condolence of the police administration.

‘I was sleeping in the same room with my son when we heard some people shouting and commanding us to come out of our rooms. Because I was half naked, I stayed indoors and one of the policemen jumped into our room from the roof,’ she said.

With tears in her eyes, she said the police fired several shots at her son without provocation when she stepped out of the room.

A brother who claimed he was in the house when the police arrived said: ‘The policeman was actually spraying the bullets. It was not like he released just a bullet or two.’

‘Adjei lived in the family house and we all knew him. He was not violent and he was not a criminal,’ he added.

‘We are law-abiding people and we will wait for them to do the right thing,’ he said, and added that the actions of the deceased as described by the police did not match his character.

 Investigations
Meanwhile, the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr John Kudalor, has directed the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to take over the investigations into circumstances surrounding the shooting of Adjei.

The IGP has additionally directed that an independent pathologist should conduct the autopsy instead of the police pathologist to ensure neutrality.

The Accra Regional Police Command Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police Mrs Afia Tenge, made this known to the media after meeting with the family members.

The meeting, which was closed to the media, is said to have been used by the Regional Police Commander to explain the circumstances that led to the shooting.

Mrs Tenge said the docket on the case had since been forwarded to the CID headquarters in line with the directive of the acting IGP.

The acting IGP, she said, had advocated the establishment of an independent Police Complaint Commission to handle cases involving the loss of innocent lives in the course of the police carrying out their duties.

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