The family of 34-year-old Simon Yindoog Nawak, suspected to be one of the three armed robbers who took part in the murder of two police officers at Zuarungu has said the Ghana Police Service gunned down an innocent person who could not have been part of the robbery.
In a statement signed by the Sheaga Youth Leaders, Augustine Mmi-oni Guure and Zinekena Solomon T.T.B, the Assembly Member for Gorogo/Pusunamoogo Electoral Area, Roland Noah Basahmah and the Presiding Member, Talensi District Gaare/Gbane Electoral Area, John Nabwomya Millim, the group explained that the deceased was unarmed and did not resist arrest.
They alleged that the police used brute force in executing the operation.
The youth leaders explained that the police should have been mindful and operated on the basis that everyone is innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Earlier, The Ghana Police Service has said it has gunned down one of the robbers suspected to have shot and killed two police officers in Zuarungu in the Bolgatanga East District of the Upper East Region.
In a statement on the Service’s Facebook page, it said “a special Anti-Robbery squad, assisted by the Upper East Regional Police Command through an intelligence-led special anti-robbery operation at Kpatia in the Talensi District has gunned down suspect Laayaame Simon alias Yendu aged 34 years, one of the three suspected armed robbers who callously murdered two Police officers at Zuarungu in the Upper East Region. A special targeted intelligence-led operation is being carried to get the rest of the suspects arrested.
Please read the full statement below:
THE UNLAWFUL KILLING OF ‘SIMON YINDOOG NAWAK’ A YOUTH OF SHEAGA IN THE TALENSI DISTRICT OF THE UPPER EAST REGION.
Chiefs and people of Talensi, the media, our gallant youth and women, ladies and gentlemen, the toad is said to like water but not when the water is boiling beyond its adjustable temperature, is the reason why we are all hot and boiling. The cause of our grief is the police who are paid with our taxes to protect us, rather deem it prudent in killing us with such impunity. We are today mourning our dear brother Simon Nawak Yindoog who was murdered by the police on Saturday the 18th December 2021 at neighbouring community Kpatia. This is very disheartening, inhumane and a vivid disregard of law and order which they are supposed to enforce.
No wonder the adage that” Whatever that is eating the vegetable leaf is right behind it”.
The police must be reminded that, ”you’re in accordance to the constitution mandated to protect lives and property not the vice versa”.
The innocent man killed is known to everyone in the community and beyond as a very humble soul, peacemaker and the breadwinner of his extended family. He has no criminal record of any form to the best of our knowledge and we challenge anyone including the killers to provide contrary evidence to this fact.
If the intel we have gathered is true that the police want to link his murder to the recent killing of the two police officers at the market square in Zuarungu on the 15th December last week is anything to go by, we want to state emphatically without any equivocation that the gentleman was on duty at work based on the records of the mining company, Earl Mining Group.
Assuming without admitting that in any case there’s a lead intelligence linking him to the culprits of such an ungodly act, why will you not rather apprehend him alive to aid you to arrest the remaining perpetrators?
You the police should have wanted him alive more than any other person if that weird logic which has no evidentiary backing but just a rumour is assumed.
We read malice (intentional killing) in the shooting as nothing at all proof that the act was professional or legal.
We conclude on your (police) actions have been intentional because:
1. The Innocent man was unarmed.
2. He didn’t resist arrest.
3. He was not at the time involved in committing any crime making reference to the criminal art 1960 act (29), be it in the form of violence stipulated in section 197, Riot in section 198, Rioting with weapons also enshrined in section 199 or provocation of Riot in section 200.
We have finally come to terms with the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson that “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so”
Enough is enough!
Having said so, let it be on record that this is not the first time the police have been treating youth and people from this part of the district with such impunity and we will have to resist their brutalities, oppression/suppression if the leadership of the police command fails to address our grievances sooner.
Our country Ghana has an adversarial criminal justice system in which the offender is presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, most offenders brought to the attention of the police are accompanied by persons who caught them in the act, which tends to eliminate the element of suspicion.
Making allusion to this legal system pursuant to the 1992 constitution, can the police officer who shot and killed Mr Simon Nawak Yindoog pontificate why we should not regard this as a targeted killing? Of course it is.
Let us remind the police of the rights of every citizen who finds themselves in their grips including the Innocent brother you brutally murdered;
1. You are presumed innocent upon arrest until you are proven to be guilty.
2. You must be told of your offence in the language you speak on arrest.
3. You have a right to be treated courteously by the Police even when you have been arrested.
4. You have the right to refuse a search of your premises without a warrant calmly and politely.
5. Unless you resist arrest unnecessarily, the Police don’t have the right to use any violence at all in effecting your arrest.
6. You have a right to ask for a lawyer of your choice.
7 You have a right to be brought before court within 48 hours of your arrest unless you are sooner released.
8. You have a right to institute legal proceedings against the police when you are kept longer.
9. You have a right (if you decide to speak) to make your statement in the presence of an independent witness.
10. You have a right to write a statement yourself if you can write.
11. You have the right to speak in any language of your choice if you can’t write, and the Police must have an interpreter.
12 Whatever you say and whatever is recorded must be read over and explained to you in a language you speak and understand.
13. You must agree to the wording of the final document of your statement before you sign it.
14. Remember you are not a prisoner while in custody and therefore you cannot be made to do any form of forced labour.
15. You have a right not to make any statement at the Police Station until you talk to a lawyer (preferably your lawyer) or are brought before the court.
Friends from the media, Can you imagine that all these aforementioned rules that govern the police in exercising their duty in the apprehension of a suspect were vehemently/catastrophically not adhered to?
If we may ask, under what conditions do you think we the troubled and victims of their lawlessness and brutalities should be law-abiding?
” Lex injusta non-est lex” meaning An unjust law is no law at all’ St. Augustine. It’s our expression of natural law, acknowledging that authority is not legitimate unless it is good, fairly right and just.
We are resolved to know the following;
1. What crime did he commit?
2. Was he found in a security zone that was out of bond for citizens and a civilian for that matter?
3. Has he gotten any criminal record that makes him a wanted fugitive?
4. Has his right to freedom of movement taken away?
If the questions are not answered in the affirmative, we can confidently conclude that his human rights have been infringed upon.
By virtue of this, we demand the following to be acted upon immediately to curb the tragic situation;
1. Government to constitute an independent investigation committee to probe into the killing by making sure that community opinion leaders must form part of the constituted committee.
2. The family of the bereaved especially his children and the widows must be taken care of by way of compensation for life.
3. The police must halt the impunity foisted/exploited on youth and people of Talensi.
4. The police must halt the unlawful brutalities meted on us law-abiding citizens.
5. The IGP must with immediate effect call his men to order on these excesses; extortions of money from riders, brutalities of youth, unlawful search of people homes etc.
Hon. Michael Zoogah, Assembly Member – Sheaga Electoral Area
Tel: 0244071373 / 0202430253
Augustine Mmi-oni Guure, Youth Leader
Zinekena Solomon T.T. B, Youth Leader
Hon. Roland Noah Basahmah, Assembly Member – Gorogo/Pusunamoogo Electoral Area
Hon. John Nabwomya Millim, Assembly Member – Gaare/Gbane Electoral Area (Presiding Member Talensi District)