Ejura committee recommends compensation for families

BY: Suleiman Mustapha
Ejura committee recommends compensation for families
Ejura committee recommends compensation for families

The Ministerial committee that investigated the unrest in Ejura in the Ashanti Region has recommended “adequate compensation” for the families of those who died during the disturbances.

Injured persons during the chaos have also been recommended to receive compensation.

The recommendations were part of the report of the committee of inquiry, which was published yesterday.

“The committee recommends adequate compensation for the families of two deceased persons, namely, Abdul Nasir Yusif and Murtala Suraj Mohammed.

“Adequate compensation must also be paid to other injured persons, namely, Louis Ayikpa (20 years), Awal Misbau (16 years) and Nasif Nuhu (30 years). These are the names known to the committee,” the recommendations read in part.

Trigger

The committee found that the death of Mohammed Ibrahim, aka ‘Kaaka’, and his mishandling were the trigger point for the riots that followed, adding that “the maximum application of force worsened the situation”.

“We hope that the ongoing investigations into the  death of ‘Kaaka’  will be expedited and the culprit(s) brought to book,” the report stated.

Furthermore, it recommended the removal of the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the area, Mr Salisu Mohammed Bamba, who, even before the report came out, had already pulled out of the race for the position of MCE for the area.

Security capos

Again, the committee recommended the immediate transfer of the District Police Commander for Ejura, DSP Philip Kojo Hammond, first for his incompetence in handling the situation and for the fact that his relationship with the community seemed to have been damaged beyond repair.

It further recommended that the military establishment review the actions of the section on the ground, led by Lieutenant Martin Opoku Adusei, for the inappropriate use of force and apply appropriate sanctions.

It noted that although the firing of live ammunition achieved the intended purpose of dispersing the rioters, it left in its trail unnecessary deaths, pain, and suffering on the people of Ejura. 

In its view, the rioting and the accompanying deaths could have been prevented if the police had prepared adequately in terms of personnel and logistics on receiving intelligence information prior to the events of June 29, 2021.

Video evidence

According to the committee, an examination of aspects of the video evidence tendered by a journalist of Multimedia, Mr Erastus Asare Donkor, showed that some of the youth threw stones and other implements in the direction of the military men.

It, however, did not consider the throwing of stones and implements at the police by the youth as acts of extreme provocation that required the firing of live ammunition into the crowd.

The report further recommended that all crowd, riot and crisis control units be made to wear body cameras, while all vehicles and mobile gadgets employed must also have cameras.

It also recommended the establishment of sports and other recreational facilities in Ejura under the Zongo Development Fund to re-channel the energies of the youth.

Background

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in July 2021, directed the Interior Ministry to conduct a public inquiry into the killing of two persons and injuries to four others by soldiers during a protest against the killing of a social activist, Kaaka Macho.