Interior Minister Ambrose Dery has told Parliament that 34-year-old Salawudeen Tafilu, who died at Goroo, a popular neighbourhood near the Asawase Constituency in the Ashanti Region was not brutalised and killed by the police.
The minister was summoned before the House to provide details of the alleged police brutality during a 23 July arrest.
Dery told the lawmakers on Tuesday (1 August) that the Police Professional Standards Bureau (PPSB) is still investigating the conduct of the officers, adding that a report has been sent to the Attorney General’s office for advice.
“Police commenced investigations into the circumstances surrounding the cause of his [Yussif Salawudeen’s] death following instructions by the Inspector General of Police, and the Police Standards Bureau also initiated investigations into the professional conduct of the police officers involved, and investigations have so far revealed that the police chased and arrested the victim and thirteen others and later released him to go when he showed signs of sickness, but while running, he hit his head against the wall and fell,” he said.
“Post-modern investigation was conducted on the body by Dr Ernest Boakye of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, who gave the cause of death to be a result of the crash against the wall, and the body was released to the family to be buried in line with Islamic tradition.”
For his part, Asawase MP Muntaka Mubarak says the police account was inconsistent, stressing the need to set up an independent body to probe such actions to cast doubt.
“How can someone run into a wall and have blood in his abdomen…? he quizzed. I worry that we have several such incidents which are still ongoing. Remember the Zongo Seven you [the government] did very well, and the family was compensated but to get the perpetrators punished I was told the case was ongoing”.
I don’t know whether there is still trust in the police service. It is on this that I will warn that if the House will agree for us to investigate such incidents independent of the police because we have such cases being reported, the police assure thorough investigations, but you don’t hear anything”, he stressed.