Minority MPs blast minister over Asawase killings; accuse police of murder
The Interior Minister Ambrose Dery has been criticised by MPs after he showed up in Parliament with no answers to questions about the police killing of two suspects in broad daylight.
Leading a round of criticism, Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu expressed disappointment in the minister after he appeared uncertain that the gunning down of the two men breached their right to life.
He rejected the police position that it employed minimum force when Awudu Osman and Lukeman Mohammed were shot in Asawase 11 days ago.
"1,2,3,4,5,6,7 bullets cannot be minimum force", " you cannot describe killing as minimum force", he stressed.
The Minority leader expressed disappointment that the minister could not muster courage to condemn the killing of the two as another mark of unprofessionalism in the police service.
The Interior minister who had been summoned to Parliament after the Asawase MP demanded answers to the tragic killings had urged the MPs to be patient and await an official report.
"It is too early to talk about seven pellets...there is no autopsy report", he mounted a defence to a barraging Minority.
He expressed regret and sadness about the deaths but said an important question to answer is whether there was any attempt to escape lawful custody as the police has maintained.
He said while the right to life is enshrined in Article 19 of the 1992 constitution there are legal exceptions to this right.
"We are the same people who accuse the police if suspects escape" he said to buttress the need for patience as investigations continued.
But the disappointed Asawase NDC MP and Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mohammed expressed frustration that 11 days after the suspects were killed, the police are yet to conclude investigations.
"If you see the body the way they even brutalised the young men you won't believe it" he said.
Muntaka Mohammed said the police breached the suspects fundamental human rights after detaining them beyond 48 hours and without arraigning them.
He was convinced by the Interior minister's lack of information on the matter that the two suspects had been murdered.
Muntaka believes the police investigations will not be objective, noting the police would not want to incriminate itself in the report if findings contrary to its official version are found.
The Minority Chief Whip said he had hoped that parliament would launch an independent investigations into the incident after the minister had presented a "definite statement" on the matter.
But his disappointing and ambivalent responses does not signal any serious attempt to get to the bottom of the tragedy.
"Believe you me, we will never get anywhere" he said adding this incident is one of many in which there was no closure to investigations and punishment.