Families demand bodies of victims of Esarkyir shooting

BY: Shirley Asiedu Addo / Daily Graphic / Ghana


The families of the four persons who died during the coronation of the chief of Ekumfi Esarkyir last Saturday have called on the police to expedite investigations into the case and release the bodies to them for burial.

According to them, some of the deceased persons were Muslims, whose bodies needed to be interred some few moments after their death.

They made the call yesterday when the Central Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Sarpong, and some members of the Regional Security Council visited the community to express their condolences to the families for the loss.

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They further appealed to the regional minister to get support for the family of one of the deceased who left behind six children and a pregnant wife.

The call comes in the wake of the shooting in which an ex-police officer, Anthony Forson, 60, accidentally shot and killed the four at the coronation of the new chief, Nana Essel VII.

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The deceased include Bestman Arthur, 17, a first-year student of TI Ahmadiyya Senior High School; Kojo Anthony, a junior high school leaver; Samuel Edumadze, 13, a primary five pupil of the Esarkyir District Assembly Methodist School, and 40-year-old Kofi Nyaago from Ekumfi Ekroful.

The cheerful procession became chaotic when Forson tried to fire a musket, which failed to respond.

After the gun failed, Forson was said to have re-loaded it and adjusted it, but before he could press the trigger again the gun went off killing the four and injuring two others. One of the injured, who is in critical condition, has been referred to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.    

Mr Sarpong used the occasion to ask the security agencies to enforce the use of gunpowder rather than live bullets for musketry.

He noted that the use of bullets in guns at festivals and other traditional gatherings had become rampant and in recent times caused enough harm. 

The District Chief Executive for Ekumfi, Mr Ibrahim Dawson, said the assembly would support the bereaved families to bury the dead.

The Saltpond Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr David Ashong, later told newsmen that checks had showed that Mr Forson's gun had been licensed and he had a permit to use it.

He, however, said the docket on the case would be sent to the Attorney General's Department for advice.