Samuel Adade, a 76- year- old man lost his life and three others injured at Akropong on Friday during festivities to climax the annual Odwira of the Akuapem Traditional Area when scattered pellets from musketry display hit them at the Okuapehene’s palace.
The deceased, said to be the Abusuapanin of the Okuapehene Oseadeeyo Addo Dankwa, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Ridge Hospital in Accra where he had been referred to from the Tetteh Quarshie Hospital at Mampong. The rest are on admission.
Firing of musketry has been part and parcel of all festive occasions involving chiefs, especially during festivals and traditionally it is the Tufuhene and the Asafo groups that are responsible for handling that aspect at festivals and other traditional occasions.
According to Assistant Commissioner of Police James Abass Abaa, Eastern Regional Deputy Police Commander, the incident occurred at about 1400 hours on Friday when the Okuapehene was sitting in state to receive homage from his subjects and other dignitaries.
He said as tradition demands, firing of musketry was on display when one of the pellets scattered and hit the victims who were then at the balcony of the palace watching proceedings at the palace court.
The Deputy Commander said even though the display of musketry was allowed during such occasions, the law regarding the use of musketry indicates that firing of musketry during festivals be done under the strict supervision of the police to ensure that right people who were not drunk or untrained.
Furthermore, he said musketry for such occasions was supposed to be a particular type that used gun powder but in this instance he suspected that live ammunitions were used and appealed to the public to give the police relevant information on the incident.
No arrests have been made and Police investigations continue. GNA