The Inspector-General of Police James Oppong-Boanuh has said police officers have the right to use lethal force if they feel their lives are under threat.
The IGP told the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Wednesday that situations on the grounds determine the response of the security agencies at any point in time.
“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,” he said.
He added: “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.
The IGP’s comment comes on the back of the killing of two people by security officers at Ejura in the Ashanti region during a protest by the youth of the community on Tuesday. The officers had gone to restore calm as the youth were protesting the murder of an activist Ibrahim Kaaka.
Meanwhile, government has condemned the incident asking for a probe.
Addressing journalists in Accra on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, Minister for Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah called on the security agencies to swiftly carry investigations on the matter.
The Minister said: “our security agencies should be quick and clinical in getting to the bottom of this and other unresolved comes. While we understand that police investigations sometimes take a while, it does not instill confidence in the population if such acts go unresolved and unpunished. So the police need to get to the bottom of this, and justice must be done.
“A credible investigation also needs to be conducted into the crowd rioting and crowd control incidents of 29th June. This will bring clarity to the sequence of events and ensure that if any persons acted inappropriately, those persons are punished,” he added.
Saaka, 45, was reportedly attacked by some unknown people in Ejura last Friday. He died on Monday afternoon, June 28, 2021 at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi where he was receiving treatment.