Family members of Murtala Mohammed, one of the young men who were shot dead in Ejura in the Ashanti Region, have refuted claims that the deceased was among the demonstrators who possibly had guns.
The Commanding Officer of the 4th Infantry Battalion, Lt. Col. Kwesi Ware Peprah, who appeared before the Justice Koomson Committee of inquiry alleged that some casualties of the disturbances may have been a result of gunshots from the protesting youth.
According to him, some protesters also fired shots during the disturbances.
The General Officer Commanding of the Central Command, Brigadier General Joseph Aphour, who appeared before the committee, had said the personnel were compelled to fire into the protesters after gunshots were fired from among them.
This was the first time such a claim had been made, as initial reports only suggested that the protesters pelted the security personnel with stones and had in their possession knives and machetes.
According to the family of one of the deceased protesters, such claims are unfounded.
Speaking to Citi News, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed, a brother of the late Murtala Mohammed, said the family is scared that the Committee may eventually conclude that their relative was handling a gun before he was shot.
“They are trying to portray the image that the demonstrators were wielding guns. Our relative has also been tagged as a protester, and our fear is that they can conclude that Murtala was also with a gun.”
‘I suspect gunshots from protesters may have hit one of the dead’ – 4BN Commander
The Commanding Officer of the 4th Infantry Battalion, Lt. Col. Kwesi Ware Peprah, says he suspects some casualties of the disturbances may have been caused by gunshots from the protesting youth.
Giving his testimony before the 3-member committee, he said although some social media posts showed a soldier kneeling and aiming his gun in the direction of the protesters, that soldier did not shoot.
He added that the soldiers who were on operational duty at the scene did not intend to shoot to kill anyone.
“The aim was not to kill. It was just unfortunate. As a matter of fact, I even suspect that the weapon that fired from protesters might have hit one of them,” he said.
“Because the soldiers started firing into the air, if you are not a professional and there is another rifle firing, you wouldn’t know, and that is why some people are saying that they [protesters] were not handling weapons… The ordinary civilian doesn’t know. The media wouldn’t know,” he added.
The violence in Ejura occurred during protests that followed the death of Ibrahim Muhammed.
Ibrahim Muhammed, alias Kaaka Macho, died after he was attacked by unknown assailants on June 27 while returning home.
He’s believed to have been killed because he was critical of the government.
The 45-year-old was noted to be vocal on both local and national issues using his Facebook page.
Police in the Ashanti Region have since arrested three persons in connection with his death and put them before the court.
Ibrahim Muhammed was buried on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, alongside the two others who died in the protest.
A ministerial committee is currently probing the disturbances. The committee is expected to complete its public hearings on Friday, July 16, 2021.