19 February 2013

Ghana: Gideon Aniah Laid to Rest

The body of the 32-year-old man who was shot dead during a protest against the breaking of a shrine rock at Vea was last Wednesday, laid to rest.

Gideon Aniah was among community members of Vea who protested against the action of the police to provide security for the contractor doing maintenance works at the banks of the Vea Irrigation Dam to break a rock they consider their god.

Speaking to The Chronicle on Thursday, Mr. Timothy Baba, a brother of the late Gideon and spokesperson for the Tindana, said the burial ceremony went on well, but not without family members, including the deceased's pregnant wife, breaking down to tears.

Mr. Baba said the Tindana and his people had already taken the matter to the court for an injunction on any further works at the shrine.

Meanwhile, the police officer who was alleged to have shot and killed Gideon Aniah has been identified.

During the protest, Mr. Gideon Aniah, a final year student of the University of Education, Winneba was shot through his upper body. He was rushed to the Regional Hospital, Bolgatanga but died on arrival.

Following his death, some residents accused the police of what they described as intentional killing and are demanding justice. They also requested that the police give them the opportunity to identify the police officer who shot and killed Gideon.

Their requested was granted on Friday, and Gideon's alleged killer (name withheld) was identified at the Regional Police Headquarters during a closed-door identification parade.

During the identification, three residents of Vea, led by Timothy Baba, spokesperson for the traditional chief priest, entered one after the other to identify the alleged killer police officer. Among the sixteen officers paraded in one of the offices at the police headquarters, one particular officer was identified by all the three persons, as the one who committed the murder.

Speaking to this reporter, the Deputy Regional Police Commander, ACP Peterkin Gyinae, confirmed that one of his men was identified. He said the officer in question was now in police custody pending further investigations.

Though ACP Gyinae said the officer admitted he fired live warning shots, he claimed he was not at the exact point where Gideon was killed, and so could not have been the murderer, yet he would have to still be detained for investigations to be carried out.

He said when investigations are completed, a full report would be sent to the Inspector General of Police office for advice and a final decision on the fate of the alleged killer officer.

The police boss, however, stated that what made the case complex was the fact other officers who were at the scene also released shots, and so the police would have to conduct through investigations to unravel the veracity or otherwise of the allegation by the Vea residents.

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