The Member of Parliament for Jomoro in the Western region, Dorcas Affo-Toffey has called on Parliament and the Speaker to probe the demise of Shadrack Arloo who was allegedly murdered by a police officer and mob at the West Hills Mall in Accra.
The MP said such tragic deaths caused by the military and police keep increasing in the country and it is time it was curtailed.
The MP said “the family of Shadrack Arloo, the people of Mpataba (where he hails from in Nzema) and my entire constituents of Jomoro trust in your leadership and call on you to support their desperate quest for justice for their beloved son.”
Madam Affo-Toffey made the appeal on the floor of Parliament Wednesday, March 15, 2023.
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Shadrach Arloo was murdered at the West Hills Mall in Accra on January 30, 2023. Find below the full statement read by the MP in Parliament.
STATEMENT ON POLICE BRUTALITY RESULTING IN THE TRAGIC AND UNJUST KILLING OF SHADRACK ARLOO AT WEST HILLS MALL IN ACCRA ON 30TH JANUARY, 2023 BY HON DORCAS TOFFEY, JOMORO CONSTITUENCY
1. Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to make this urgent statement.
2. This statement is about the gory events that resulted in the tragic and unjust killing of Shadrack Arloo, a citizen of Ghana, at the West Hills Mall in Accra on the 30th day of January, 2023.
3. Mr Speaker, permit me to humbly convey through you to this August House the profound and heartbreaking sorrow that the deceased’s family, the people of the Mpataba community and the entire constituency of Jomoro are experiencing.
4. I call on this Parliament of the people to stand in solidarity with the grieving family in these difficult times and to do everything possible within its power to ensure that justice is served.
5. Mr Speaker, Shadrack was a thirty-three (33) year-old father to a four (4) year-old boy. Shadrack hailed from Mpataba in the Jomoro constituency of Ghana. Until his unfortunate death, he was a graphic designer, having completed Senior High School many years earlier.
6. The facts suggest that at the time of Shadrack’s unfortunate death, his family had completed travel arrangements that would have seen him fly from Ghana to Germany the next day. His flight to Germany was also booked and confirmed for the said travel.
7. Mr Speaker, between 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm on the day that Shadrack prematurely lost his life, he had visited the West Hills Mall to buy some items for his new apartment. He was in the company of one Ibrahim Sakyi.
8. As they were walking through the Mall, the two men were stopped by a police officer who demanded to search the deceased without a warrant. The said Police officer had not, at the time, indicated that he had arrested the deceased. As a result, the deceased refused to be searched by the officer.
9. When the officer insisted on conducting the said search, Shadrack left the bag he was carrying with the police officer and took to his heels. The police officer quickly raised a false alarm that Shadrack was a thief, drawing the attention of other persons nearby, including the private security officers stationed at the Mall.
10. Mr Speaker, any fair-minded Ghanaian who watches the horrendous scenes captured by videos widely circulating on social media on the final moments of Shadrack’s life, would be horrified and deeply traumatised by the sequence of events and actions that claimed his life.
11. The deceased was handcuffed while he was on the floor, beaten several times and was heard groaning helplessly in pain, virtually begging for his life. Even though Shadrack had become incapacitated and vulnerable during his ordeal, the videos show a uniformed police officer kneeling close to his head, tasing him several times in the full glare of other police officers, private security officers and some of the staff of the West Hills Mall.
12. Mr Speaker, in all the circumstances of this matter, it would seem that the Police orchestrated the awful and inhuman treatment that Shadrack suffered in his last moments on earth. Indeed, no citizen or resident of Ghana, no matter his alleged crime, deserves that kind of extrajudicial treatment. Simply put, Shadrack was deliberately killed by peace officers paid by the taxpayer to protect Ghanaian lives. Alternatively, he lost his life due to their recklessness and or negligence.
13. Mr Speaker, the tragic story of Shadrack adds to the growing menace of police and military personnel attacking, harassing, brutalising and killing innocent citizens unjustly. The raging menace marks a worrying escalation of violence in this country.
14. Enough is enough! No cause can justify such a level of police brutality and the senseless killing of Shadrack. That is why we must, as representatives of the people, speak with one powerful voice and collectively condemn Shadrack’s killing in no uncertain terms.
15. Mr Speaker, Article 15 (1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution of our Republic demand in no uncertain terms respect for human dignity as follows: 15 (1) “The dignity of all persons shall be inviolable. (2) No person shall, whether or not he is arrested, restricted or detained, be subjected to (a) Torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; (b) Any other condition that detracts or is likely to detract from his dignity and worth as a Human being.
16. Mr Speaker, the police officers whose inhumane actions and inactions resulted in the tragic and unjust killing of Shadrack, violated his sacred and protected rights under the constitution. That is why I insist that the report of the self-serving police investigation published on 7th February 2023 cannot be relied upon to ensure that Shadrack gets justice.
17. Mr Speaker, concerning this particular case, the Ghana Police Service is in a conflict of interest situation. It cannot be trusted to ensure transparency and or accountability, mainly because it was the cruel actions and inactions of members of the service that unlawfully claimed the life of Shadrack.
18. It is curious and difficult to come to terms with the Police’s claims that Shadrack died from “Asphyxiation and Obstruction of the airway by a foreign body” and that “eight (8) zipped bags containing dry leaves suspected to be narcotic drugs tied in a piece of black polythene [were] retrieved [from] the throat of the deceased”.
19. Mr Speaker, it is pertinent to ask:
1. When did these narcotic substances get into the deceased’s throat?
2. Where are the footages from the West Hills Mall that show the deceased’s entry into the Mall and the various shops he entered?
3. Where is the footage that showed where he ran to out of fear that he would be arrested?
4. Where is the footage that showed where he was handcuffed, beaten, and tased Mr Speaker, I ask, who watches the watchman?
20. Mr Speaker, the practice where the police administration investigates personnel and officers accused of severe violations of citizens’ human rights must end. Such investigations yielded no satisfactory outcomes in the past for victims, families and or parties seeking justice. These practices have eminently contributed to the prevailing mistrust between the people and the police in our beloved country.
21. Mr Speaker, it is in the light of these that I call on this august House to invoke its legislative authority to set up an Independent Police Commission (IPC) and grant it the powers to investigate, for example, instances where the Police stand accused of unlawful killing. Such a response will help curb actual or potential cover-ups in the future.
22. Mr Speaker, kindly permit me to state that I have petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the horrifying Human Rights violations meted out to Shadrack. Let me also use this opportunity to urge the Commission to quicken its investigations into the matter to help give the grieving family closure.
23. Mr Speaker, while the CHRAJ carries out its constitutional functions in respect of this matter, I humbly pray that this statement be referred to the Committee on Defence and Interior to conduct an independent Parliamentary probe into the true circumstances leading to the death of Shadrack and to make relevant recommendations that will inform policy and legislative response to avoid any future recurrence.
24. Mr Speaker, the family of Shadrack Arloo, the people of Mpataba, and my entire constituents of Jomoro trust in your leadership and call on you to support their desperate quest for justice for their beloved son.
25. Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your attention.
By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|OnuaTV|Onuaonline.com