Lawyer for family of ‘slain’ Adomfe native bawls: POLICE CAN’T PROBE POLICE …demands independent investigation into cause of death … Ghana Standard Authority beckoned to support probe
From Richard Owusu-Akyaw, Kumasi
The lawyer for the family of Kofi Ampoma, who was allegedly ‘murdered’ by police officers from the Konongo Divisional Command, Mr. Asamoah Amoako, has expressed worry over the way and manner the police was handling the case.
According to him, he does not understand why the suspected murderers of his client are walking free instead of being detained in custody.
He has also expressed worry about the pruning of the nine suspects, who allegedly murdered Kofi Ampoma, to three and seven others left off the hook. To him, the development has raised suspicion among the family members about the way and manner the police was handling the case.
Mr Asamaoh Amoako accused the police of trying to shield the officers who murdered his clients on a street in Adomfe in the Asante Akyem South District of the Ashanti Region.
Mr. Kofi Ampoma, father of two, was allegedly murdered by the police on Monday October 14, 2019 at Adomfe without any provocation. The demise of the poor man has left the Adomfe community aghast.
Information available to The Chronicle indicates that the Ashanti Regional Command of the Police Service has held a meeting with the opinion leaders of the town, where they called for calm with an assurance that the cause of the death of their royal would be established after the postmortem examination.
Lawyer Asamoah Amoako, who spoke to The Chronicle via phone, explained that the pathologist report was not fully ready. He, however, expressed concern about way and manner the Regional Police Command was handling the case, and that the police cannot investigate themselves. “We cannot see the head and tail of their investigation,” he said.
Asked about what the postmortem report says, Mr. Amoako revealed that in a meeting at the doctor’s office at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), it came to the fore that there has been a complication, which has been referred to the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).
According to him, a sample of the heart of the deceased would be taken to the GSA to unravel a complication in the pathologist report.
According to him, the pathologist report revealed that the weight of the heart, which should have been 300 grams, increased to 450 grams, a development which has been forwarded to the GSA for further scrutiny.
Counsel Asamoah Adomako quoted the pathologist’s report as saying that there was a large blood deposit in the lungs of the late Kofi Ampoma. Based on this, he said, he asked the pathologist about the cutlass wounds which the police allegedly inflicted on his client, but the pathologist told him that he could not confirm the wound which caused the death of his client .
On 17 October,2019, the Ashanti Regional Police Command, under the signatory of the Public Relations Officer (PRO), (ASP) Godwin Ahianyo, issued a statement under the caption “INTERDICTION OF THREE (3) POLICE OFFICERS.”
The statement noted that the Command had commenced investigations into the alleged assault on one Kofi Amponsah, 36, a resident of Adonfe, a town near Bompata in the Ashanti Region by some police officers with the Konongo Divisional Police Task Force, leading to his death on Monday October 14, 2019.
ASP Ahianyo was emphatic that the Command, as part of investigations, has interdicted three officers, namely, General Sergeant Suleman Seidu, General Corporal Seth Abango and General Lance Corporal Salifu Yakubu.
According to him, in all, nine officers went on the operation, but three were cited as having allegedly taken part in the incident, hence their interdiction pending investigations.
But the lawyer of the bereaved family has cast doubt about the fairness of the police as far as their investigations are concerned. “They beat him up and used pepper spray to blind him, threw him into the bucket of their vehicle, and sat on him with the aid of a bench,” he alleged.
He disclosed that the Juaso Municipal Security Council had already met over the case, where the Regional Police Command was asked to team up with the Konongo Divisional Command for investigations into the incident.
“They say investigation is underway, but they do not see the head and tail of their investigation. If they did not kill Kofi Ampoma, what about the machete wounds they inflicted on him?”
The Counsel told The Chronicle the police had gone to the village to arrest a women fond of selling marijuana mixed with the local gin, Akpeteshie, at Juanso, a task they succeeded in doing. They allegedly drove the woman to a nearby village called Patrensa and allegedly extorted money from her and later released the suspect to go.
According to Counsel Amoako, the police had arrested the said women on three different occasions and released her. The development angered the youth of the town, who decided to report the case to the police station at Adomfe, which is under the Bompata District Police Headquarters.
Mr Adomako continued that in retaliation to the report the youth of the Adomfe lodged with the police at Adomfe, on October 14, 2019, the Konongo police, armed to the teeth (Guns and cutlasses) stormed the village (Adomfe).
Mr. Amoako told this reporter that it was a well rehearsed attack, and that the police personnel involved did not inform their superiors and Bompata colleagues.
According to him, his client, who was a Mercedes Benz Sprinter bus driver, had closed from work and came to buy food at Adomfe, but the police personnel who were firing indiscriminately, arrested the deceased.
The late Kofi Ampoma, however, told the police that until they explained the reason for his arrest he would not accompany them.
The police, he said, then pulled his client but he held onto a pillar, which gave him stability. The police officers then rushed to their vehicle and brought cutlasses and pepper spray, which they sprayed on his eyes to blind him, and started inflicting cutlass wounds on him.
Whilst one guy who was arrested was not beaten by the police, the worried lawyer stated that they beat the Sprinter bus driver and dumped him into the bucket of their vehicle. When the police realised that his condition was deteriorating, they rushed him to hospital, but he died on arrival.
According to the counsel, an uncle of the deceased went to the Konongo Divisional Command to inquire about the whereabouts of his nephew, but the police could not give him any proper answer. He, however, saw the ‘suspect’ who was arrested together with his nephew in the cells of the station, and he broke the news to him that his nephew had been taken to the Konongo Government Hospital.
When the uncle of the deceased followed up to the hospital, he was told that Kofi Ampoma was brought there dead. According to the counsel, the uncle of the deceased, who is also a traditional ruler, saw cutlass and bullet wounds on the body of his nephew at the hospital.
Frantic efforts made by this reporter to reach the Ashanti Regional Police Command for an update on the case proved futile.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Godwin Ahianyo, the Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO), who did not answer a call placed to him, called back later to state that the reporter was not a staff of The Chronicle, and that he could not grant him an interview.
His (ASP Ahianyo) line went dead when the reporter was trying to convince him to comment on the issue.