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Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Source: GNA

Six Ablekuma alleged rioters granted bail

A circuit court in Accra on Tuesday ordered Nii Kwaku Fosu III, one of the claimants of the Ablekuma Stool to go to the Police so his bail granted by the Court could be executed.

The order came up after Prosecuting Superintendent of Police Kofi Blagodzi had told the court that Nii Fosu’s bail granted by the court had not been executed but he had gone home, adding all attempts to get him to go back to the Police had failed.

According to Supt. Blagodzi, when Nii Fosu was sent to the Kaneshie Police Station, a police officer asked him to go home since he had been granted bail.

“He has to go to the Police with his sureties so that the bail could be executed in court,” he added.

The prosecutor said he was informing the court because he did not want the public to see the Police as exercising its authority thereby creating a scene at the court premises.

Nii Fosu III and Nii Larbi Mensa IV were at the last sitting granted bail by the court after they had pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit crime and rioting.

Meanwhile the court presided over by Mr. Francis Obiri today admitted six other alleged rioters in the Ablekuma disturbances which resulted in the death of three people.

The six accused persons were admitted to bail in the sum of GH10,000 cedis with sureties each. One of the sureties, the court said was to be a public or civil servant.

The court however warned the accused persons that if they committed, abetted or attempted to commit any offence, they would have their bail revoked.

Six other accused persons, were supporters of the rival claimants, namely Nii Adjin Kofi, Asafoatse Abeka Abbey, Mustapha Adjin Tetteh, Nii Akwatei Nartey, Ebenezer Aryee and Fatao Mohammed.

Granting them bail, the court said it agreed with the Police that they were investigating the matter but noted that they had not been able to establish that the accused persons would commit any further offences.

According to the court, the offence preferred against the accused persons did not fall under those that bail could not be granted although bail was discretional.

Earlier, Supt. Blagodzi had prayed the court to remand them for a week to enable the police to further investigate the matter.

According to Supt Blagodzi, three people died during the disturbances and the Police was investigating matters relating to the murder of the deceased. He indicated that there were some clues that some of the accused persons were involved in firing of guns.

Dr. Josiah Ayeh who represented Nii Larbi Mensa repeated an application for bail for bail for the six accused persons. He prayed the court not to use remand as punishment against the accused persons.

Supt. Blagodzi presenting the facts said on August 25, at about 2.30pm, the Greater Accra Police Command received several distress calls from residents of Ablekuma concerned with the indiscriminate firing of guns by the two rival claimants and their followers at Ablekuma.

He said the command quickly dispatched heavily armed Police team led by DSP Osei Agboya to Ablekuma to calm the tension and forestall order.

He said the Police upon reaching Ablekuma went to the palace of Nii Kwaku Fosu III and found two bodies with bullet wounds identified as Wulomo Nii Tetteh Sarfo and Emmanuel Nartey.

Superintendent Blagodzi said the team also saw the destruction of the palace of Nii Kwaku Fosu III and two other vehicles parked in the compound.

He said the Police immediately conveyed four wounded victims to Police hospital for treatment.

He said the Police upon conducting further search at the palace managed to retrieve 64 spent cartridges, one live cartridge and sixteen abandoned motorcycles suspected to belong to the culprits.

Superintendent Blagodzi said investigations into the case revealed that Nii Kwaku Fosu III and Nii Larbi Mensa IV were two rival chiefs all based at Ablekuma each claiming ownership of the Ablekuma chieftaincy with their respective palaces and their subjects including Niii Adjin Kofi, Asafoatse Abeka Abbey, Mustapha Adjin Tetteh, Nii Akwatei Nartey, Ebenezer Aryee and Fatao Mohammed as their respective elders.

The prosecutor said on August 25, all the accused persons decided to celebrate Homowo festival at Ablekuma at the same time using the same principal town route.

He said further investigations disclosed that Nii Kwaku Fosu III and Nii Larbi Mensa IV knowing the implications of their intended action, respectively hired the services of two armed thugs identified as ‘UN-Boys’ headed by one Nii Ofori based at Sowutuom and ‘Djorn’ Boys’ headed by one Moses also based at Djorn to assist them to celebrate the Homowo festival.

Superintendent Blagodzi said on that day all the accused persons with their respective followers and armed thugs clashed at a spot called Ablekuma junction whilst sprinkling ‘kpokpoi’.

He said Nii Kwaku Fosu III and his followers escaped to their palace but were pursued by the other faction which further led to fierce exchange of gun shots leading to instant death of two persons.

He said one of the injured victims, Aventus Modestus, who was receiving treatment from gunshot died on August 26, at the Police Hospital.

His body together with the two others who died earlier have been deposited at the mortuary awaiting autopsy.

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