The family of a young man who died two weeks after a street fight have appealed to the authorities to help examine the actual circumstances that led to his death.
According to the family, although the deceased sustained no injuries during the brawl, he developed some complications later which they believed was the cause of his death.
She said the post-mortem examination made available to the family suggests her son died from injuries that may have been caused by a blunt instrument and due to this new information, the family is ready to get to the roots of what happened.
Narrating the incident at a press briefing last Saturday at Pokuase, the mother of the deceased, Madam Grace Akua Amponsah said her son, Ebenezer Ofosu was a respectful and decent young man who hardly had any trouble with anyone let alone engages in street fights.
She said on that fateful day, her son had gone out with his friends to play football at a nearby football field and from what she gathered from his friends, a fight broke out between him and another boy who was later identified as Sumaila Ali, homeless boy who frequents the neighbourhood.
Madam Amponsah explained that the fight started after a player in her sons’ team made a crazy tackle on one of the players opposing them leading to an injury. The ensuing dispute created a chaotic scene, and the game was eventually stopped.
She said that her son’s friends took the law into their hands and attacked the said homeless boy and one of his friends, but she got wind of it and managed to intervene and calm them down only to find out later that he had fled from the area.
Madam Amposah noted that at that time nothing had happened to Ebenezer, so she told his friends to leave the boy alone, however; “I noticed significant differences in the way Ebenezer behaved. I have always known him to be making fun of his siblings and joking around the house but that evening he came home, he was noticeably quiet, and I tried finding out what was wrong with him, but he didn’t speak,” she cried.
She further explained that the said street boy might have fled from the area due to fright of further reprisal attack by the friends of her son and accused an Imam in the area whom she believed helped him escape.
According to her, she was told Sumaila was last seen around the Pokuase market and wondered why he will run away if he believes he is innocent.
However, speaking to Imam Ustaz Swallah Amin who initially declined to comment on the matter, said the family is entitled to determine what happened to their relative but doubt the boy they are looking for has anything to do with it.
He said what they have are a mere suspicion and a shred of circumstantial evidence explaining that the suspect and victim did not even know each other before the scuffle that ensued between them.
According to him, he is surprised at the family’s stance because the fight was not even aggressive, but a minor skirmish inflamed by the passion of the game which fellow teammates quickly intervened.
Sheikh Amin reiterated that with the deceased family’s insistence, he is afraid this situation could be another story of Elijah Nketiah, another street boy who was recently arrested and incarcerated for a crime he did not commit.
He said many street children who have lost their parents and guardians at tender ages sometimes find themselves in such dangerous situations and have no one to fight for them, adding that these children must be given adequate protection from abuse discrimination and violence.
Statistically, the number of street children in cities like Accra and Kumasi is on the increase. According to reports, it is estimated that about 30 Million street children are found on the streets of Africa and over 90,000 find residence on the street of Ghana.
These socially deprived homeless children most often engage in criminal activities like prostitution and theft to sustain themselves.
It is therefore important civil societies continue to help street children by giving them opportunities that will help them become socially responsible citizens