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Opinions Sat, 25 Feb 2017

Open letter to the Inspector General of Police, David Asante-Apeatu

Dear IGP Mr David Asante-Apeatu,

I am moved by the recent police-cum-military brutalities inflicted on my fellow

Kumawuman citizens in Kumawu-Bodomase to publish this open letter for your attention.

I am Mr Rockson Adofo, a subject of the Kumawu Kodua Stool but for the past many

years residing in Europe.

On Thursday, 16 February 2017, the Ghana Police Force of which you are currently the

national head, in complicit with some armed military personnel, proceeded to

Kumawu-Bodomase with intent to assault Kumawuhene Barima Tweneboa Kodua V and his

elders.

From an interview granted to the media, I heard the then Ashanti Regional Police

Public Relations Officer ASP Mohammed Yusuf Tanko, say, on radio that the police

picked up intelligence that there was going to be a clash between the supporters of

the two rival Kumawu paramount chiefs at the late Kumawu Akyempemhene Nana Okyere

Krapa II’s funeral scheduled to take place from Wednesday, 15 February 2017 until

Saturday 18 February 2017. He went on to say that on the records of the police, there

is only one paramount chief in Kumawu and he is the person of Barima Sarfo Tweneboa

Kodua who has sworn an oath of allegiance to Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and has

subsequently been gazetted. Therefore, they had to go to Kumawu to stop the otherwise

most publicly recognised and accepted rival strolling around as Kumawuhene.

In carrying out their intention, they assaulted not only Barima Tweneboa Kodua V and

his elders but also, the entire retinue of mourners that were in procession with them

to the funeral ground. They destroyed the kingly umbrellas which were over him and

his sub-chiefs. They fired both plastic and live ammunitions as well as tear gas into

the crowd and into the air as warning shots.

A video clip of the incident has since gone viral on the social networks; WhatsApp,

YouTube and the Ghana internet news portals as well as being aired on the ABM

television network in the United Kingdom.

The late Kumawu Akyempemhene Nana Okyere Krapa II was not only one of the sub-chiefs

owing allegiance to Barima Tweneboa Kodua V but also, he was Barima’s father by the

Ashanti/Akan extended family tradition. Therefore, there was no way that Dr Yaw

Sarfo, the other Kumawuhene going by the name Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua, was going

to attend the funeral. He had not been invited to the funeral as either Kumawuhene or

a private citizen. He had not served notice to the bereaved family that he would be

attending the funeral. How then was a clash going to take place between the two

chiefs and their supporters at the funeral? How, when and where did the police pick

up their intelligence as asserted by ASP Tanko?

If there was going to be a clash, do the police have to take sides or stand

in-between to prevent the fight from taking place in the first place? Do the police

now act as kingmakers, deciding who is a chief and who is not? Did the police have

any orders issued to Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua from the courts indicating that he

is the sole Omanhene of Kumawu and that any other person conducting himself as Kumawu

Omanhene must be arrested or molested? Who ordered the police and the military

personnel to move to Kumawu-Bodomase to commit that heinous assault against Barima

Tweneboa Kodua V and his elders and the sympathising mourners come to pay their last

respect to the late Nana Okyere Krapa II, Kumawu Akyempemhene?

Although police brutalities do at times occur in the civilized Western world, when

they do happen, they get investigated and when the officers are found guilty, they

get punished with a sack or imprisonment.

Did your police officers have any court warrant to forcibly resist Barima Tweneboa

Kodua V from attending the funeral as a chief? In all the countries that I have lived

in or visited in Europe, the police cannot force entry into one’s apartment/house

without a court warrant unless the situation relates to murder, Class A drugs,

dealing in illegal weapons, and involvement in terrorism and acts of treason.

What dangers did he attending the funeral with umbrella over him pose to the

Kumawu-Bodomase community hence warranting the police and the soldiers to inflict

various degrees of injuries on the mourners and themselves (police) as a result of

their unprofessionalism?

I am sorry to say a court action could likely be brought against the police for

acting in bad faith.

Finally, the Divisional Police Commander in Effiduase Ashanti is alleged to have

instructed the assaulting police to shoot and kill Barima Tweneboa Kodua V claiming

it to be an order from above. Would you please investigate this claim to establish

who gave him that order?

The perpetration of police intimidation with intent to cow the citizens of Kumawu

traditional area from having the person of their choice as their paramount chief will

not wash no matter what power from above is behind it. We are not living in a

dictatorial regime but a democracy where the rights of citizens are respected.

I look forward to seeing what you could do to prevent the repeat of the unfortunate

near-fatal incident that took place in Kumawu-Bodomase on Thursday 16 February 2017,

as was masterminded and orchestrated by the police and the military.

Yours Faithfully,

Rockson Adofo

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson