Eyewitnesses’ blow by blow account of how bullet pierced through Ashaiman man’s head
Residents of Ashaiman have discounted claims that a truck pusher who was killed on Sunday tried to disarm a military officer.
Eric Ofotsu was allegedly killed by a soldier who was part of a combined military and police team detailed at Ashaiman to enforce a lockdown order by President Akufo-Addo to curtail the coronavirus outbreak.
The military hierarchy said in a statement that: “Initial reports are that the suspect in resisting arrest attempted to disarm the soldier leading to a struggle during which the soldier’s rifle accidentally went off”.
According to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the deceased was suspected of being involved in narcotics.
However, eyewitness accounts suggest a different story. Two women who observed what happened told JoyNews that the military command’s release contained inaccuracies.
Ofosuwaa, a family friend of the deceased, said she went to escort a friend that Sunday. On her return, she ran into the soldier who questioned why she was outside.
She said her response to him was that she was going to the washroom.
“When I came out, I saw him (soldier) telling Ofotsu to leave the area, but Ofotsu told him (soldier) that he lives at the market,” Ofosuwaa recounted. “I told the soldier that Ofotsu was mentally challenged and he sleeps and works at the market by transporting goods and engaging in menial jobs”.
She said Ofotsu had desilted the gutters the previous day, and the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly had not even paid him.
“All of us around told the soldier he (Ofotsu) had a mental problem,” she said, as she alleged that the serviceman ignored her comments.
Ofosuwaa said she saw the soldier make a call and someone at the other end of the line instructed him to kill Ofotsu.
After the call, “He cocked his gun, and we all took cover, but before we realised he had shot him (Ofotsu)”.
“I ran and held my ‘brother’, and I started calling neighbours for help,” she said in tears.
“If they said Ofotsu held on to the soldier’s gun, it is a lie. He never tried to disarm the soldier. The soldier didn’t try,” she concluded.
Another eyewitness, who preferred to remain anonymous, said she was sitting in front of a cold store when she heard “exchange of words” between Ofotsu and the soldier.
“The soldier hit the deceased with a stick. The deceased got angry, and he collected the stick from the soldier and dropped it.
“After the initial altercation, Ofotsu and the soldier went separate ways, and the military man made a call to an unknown person. The soldier returned. But those of us around thought he wanted to hit Ofotsu again,” she recalled.
“But what we saw was that he cocked his gun. I thought he was going to give a warning shot. However, he rather pointed the rifle at the throat of the victim. He shot without hesitation,” the agitated woman said. “The bullet went through the back of his head. He (soldier) just took a tissue, picked the pellets and placed it in a polythene bag. All he said was, ‘I am sorry’”.
“The sight of the killing and the blood made me urinate, and I thought I would have a miscarriage. One woman even defecated instantly,” she continued.
According to her, the conduct of the soldier was terrible because security had been stationed in Ashaiman for protection and not the murder of unarmed, innocent civilians.
Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashaiman Constituency, Ernest Henry Norgbey, has vowed to seek justice for the resident who was allegedly shot and killed “accidentally”.
An investigation has commenced into the incident. The Ghana Armed Forces have assured the general public that “details of its investigations will be duly communicated”.