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Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Source: GNA

Apowahene murder case to begin on March 3

Sekondi, Feb. 19, GNA - A Sekondi High Court presided over by Justice Clemence J. Honyenugah has dismissed an application for bail filed by Mr Stephen H. Ocran, counsel for four persons accused in the alleged murder of Nana Amua Gyabu, XIV, Apowahene at Apowa in September 1995.

The pleas of Isaac Taye, Steven Tandoh, James Yalley and Kwamena Badu were not taken and remanded in prison custody to re-appear on March 3. Madam Patience Klinogo, a Principal State Attorney told the court that another accused person Moses Kwame had been arrested and ready to continue with the prosecution.

She prayed the court to refuse bail for the accused persons. Justice Honyenugah dismissing the application asked the Attorney General's Department to prepare its bill of indictment and begin prosecution during the criminal assizes on March 3. It would be re-called that on February 12, the AG's Department re-activated the case that was abandoned for no apparent reasons. Madam Klinogo, said the case was being re-activated following a petition to the Attorney General and Inspector General of Police (IGP) and a directive by the Minster of Justice and Attorney General. She said the four accused persons were arrested on January 17 this year, and initially 40 persons were arrested 13 years ago but some were granted bail while others faced prosecution but most of the witnesses were threatened.

Mr Ocran, a Takoradi-based legal practitioner applying for bail for his clients said the action by the AG's Department was not in respect of the murder of the late chief but because his clients had persistently refused to allow the present Chief Nana Amua Gyebu XV to sell both stool and family lands in the Apowa area. "These people have lived at Apowa, during and after the murder of the late chief and have not abandoned the town and were part of the installation process of Nana Amua Gyebu XV". "Their only crime is to resist attempts by the chief to sell family lands and well as stool lands and therefore have been linked to the murder of Nana Amua Gyabu, XIV," he added. 19 Feb. 08

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