Authorities claim the young man, Divine Akuinor, snatched a woman’s handbag and attempted to flee.
Public Relations Officer for the Greater Accra Regional Police, DSP Efia Tenge said in an interview that the police did not mistakenly shoot the late Mr. Akuinor as his family claims, but that he died from police gunshot wounds.
“A search conducted on the deceased together with the one who was arrested led to the retrieval of the lady’s phone. It was in the pocket of the deceased together with a kitchen knife and other items including five mobile phones,” she said.
DSP Tenge explained the police suspect the other mobile phones were also stolen.
Divine Akuinor and Dennis Kojo Amponsah, on Saturday, January 5, was shot by a police patrol team after a lady lodged a complaint about some unknown persons snatching her bag.
Dennis, a mechanic, sustained gunshot wounds and was sent to the hospital but his friend Divine died on the spot.
According to the eyewitness (name withheld), the police first searched him when they drove to the area.
“I was coming back from a nightclub at that time, so after searching me they saw a motorbike coming and they drove closer to it. After driving there, they started shooting. I wanted to go and see who they shot but they told me to go back home,” he stated.
However, the family of the deceased have disputed police claims that he [Divine Akuinor] was an armed robber.
His brother, Gameli Akuinor told Joy News the deceased was a decent, well-mannered man and full of life. He explained his brother [Divine Akuinor] was a banker working with Easy Microfinance.
“He is someone who will never indulge in anything like that at all. Everyone is taken aback by this sudden occurrence,” he added.
The father of the deceased alleged his son had told the police to follow him to his house so they can prove his innocence.
“He tells you his dad and his house is just near, he has his car in the yard, let us go so you see my parents and you still go ahead to do that damage, can they bear that pain,” he quizzed.
The family is calling for justice to be served.
Denis Kojo Amponsah has also disputed claims he and his friend were armed robbers.
Also speaking to Joy News’ Efua Evans-Chinery, he said, “we went for a program and on my way back I met my friend [Divine] at Teshie and I decided to pick him up on the motorbike home.”
He said “while picking him up, we saw a car approaching us and then we heard a lady in a car. We didn’t hear what she said but all we heard were gunshots. The police shot at us and my friend died. I sustained gunshot wounds but my friend did not have anything on him.”
“We are innocent,” he added.
The 28-year-old mechanic is currently receiving treatment at the Police Hospital after sustaining gunshot wounds.
DSP Tenge stated, the second suspect who escaped, was later arrested and will be prosecuted in due time.
The police, however, have been criticized for taking rash actions in many cases which have ended in the death of many innocent people.
This incident comes after the police is still dealing with the issues surrounding the killing of seven men at Manso Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region in 2018.
The police shot seven men at Manso Nkwanta, they [the police] claimed were engaged in a gun battle with them.
The police then supported their actions and provided evidence to prove the guilt of the deceased men. However, the government set up a committee to investigate the deaths after family and friends of the deceased men made constant calls for justice.
The investigation reports proved the seven men were innocent and not armed robbers as claimed by the police.