The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh has hinted that the law permits the police to use lethal force in crowd control especially in the situation that the life of the police officer is in danger.
The IGP explained to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament the circumstances under which Police officers can shoot at a protesting crowd.
He said, “Honourable Chair, you and I know that in very fluid situations, there are no hard and fast rules when the lives of the Police officers are threatened, that they should go through all these. So, depending on the nature of the situation you are dealing with, then you can go through all these and let me add that if you are dealing with unarmed demonstrators, then you will not go for live amour, but when you see somebody in the crowd holding a weapon which is capable of being used to kill or injure a Police officer, our laws permit us to use lethal force to eliminate that threat to the officers on duty. So, it depends on the situation you are dealing with,” he said.
IGP asserted the police administration has a manual on the use of force. “Normally, you will speak to the people through a megaphone or you shout if they can hear you and you spray water, you throw tear gas and then you use blank amour and eventually you use live amour,” he explained.
He further explained that even though protestors may not be carrying deadly weapons, the officers still need to protect themselves.
“What people don’t know is ‘A’ may be armed, ‘B’ may not. So, being in the crowd doesn’t necessarily mean you know what is happening but technically, you are responsible for whatever the person is doing. So, we take steps to eliminate that threat to the officers,” he said.
His comments follow the gruesome murder of Macho Kakaa in Ejura over the weekend.
There was also a violent clash among the military officers and the youth of the area who were demonstrating in that town on Tuesday, June 29 following the murder and this led to the death of two persons with four sustaining various degrees of injury.
Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has instructed the Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery, to conduct, forthwith, a Public Inquiry into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate occurrences of Tuesday, 29th June 2021.
The Interior Minister is to provide a detailed report from the Inquiry, with recommendations for appropriate action, within ten days, by 9th July 2021, to President Akufo-Addo.
“The President is deeply saddened by the deaths of Ibrahim Mohammed, alias ‘Kaaka’, Abdul Nasir Yussif and Murtala Mohammed.
“He extends sincere condolences to the families of the deceased, and wishes the injured a speedy recovery,” a statement issued by Director of Communications at the President Eugene Arhin said on Wednesday.