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General News of Monday, 7 September 2020

Source: The Herald

MP demands presidential enquiry into Dome Faase military brutalities

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Domeabra Obom, Sophia Karen Ackuaku, has called on President Akufo-Addo, to launch a presidential enquiry into the Dome Faase military brutalities for culprits to be prosecuted and affected community dwellers compensated for their loss.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentarian, who was in the thick of affairs that fateful Tuesday, wants the military to answer why it handed armed soldiers to a man with a serious questionable character including serving a jail term, ending in the death of one man and injuring of two soldiers.

"…His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo should cause an investigation into the circumstances under which the military command deployed armed military men to a man who has turned out to be a criminal and an imposter to harass the people of Dome Faase", she has said. She believes the enquiry, will allay fear of the traumatized people that, Barfour Sarpong Kumankuma, the man behind the recorded atrocities, will not be made to face the law as amember of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) having secured a job with the Forestry Commission (FC).

Additional information published by The Herald last week, indicate that, Barfour Sarpong Kumankuma did not act alone as credible information picked up shows he apparently works for Thomas Oppong Peprah; the Army Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces' (GAF).

The notorious former National Security operative and ex-military officer, who was jailed in the UK for six years, goes about seizing land for a so called estate agency business and recruits young men in land guarding activities.

It is emerging that though his criminal activities are known by the military, he has not been called to order, because he has the full backing of Mr Oppong Peprah.Madam Ackuaku said, the people of Dome Faase, anticipate nothing short of thorough prosecution and compensation for the affected community members.

"Many are worried that Barfour Sarpong may escape punishment because he is an appointee of this government at the Forestry Commission and moved around in a vehicle with New Patriotic Party (NPP) flag hanged in it and the late Sir John's poster on it.This should not be one of the many cases in which operatives of the NPP have been shielded and made to go unpunished because their Party is in power.

The chiefs and good people of Domeabra Obom constituency, particularly those whose properties were destroyed, those who were beaten and injured, those who were unjustifiably arrested and tortured, and those who had to endure the inconvenience of fleeing their homes, expect nothing but arrest, prosecution and compensation for their anguish".

She blamed the security agencies whose attention was drawn earlier through a petition to the President saying "If the State had responded to the countless petitions about the conduct of Barfour Sarpong, we would not have recorded the unfortunate incident at Dome Faase".Her plea contained in a statement last Wednesday,was in reaction to a similar statement by the Okyenhene calling on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) James Oppong Boanuh, to arrest and prosecute Bafour Sarpong Kumankuma, after the latter claimed in a television interview that, his actions at Dome Faase, were backed by the Akyem Abuakwa stool, adding he was only collecting and policing the Dome Faase lands for the Okyenhene.

The ex-Military officer, claimed he and others, act at the whims and caprices of Okyehene. "We are his people, we are only his police who guard his lands, and serve as his labourers", he revealed.But in a swift response, the Okyehene debunked the various claims made in his name, saying the man in question was not even the Mponuahene of Akyem Apedwa. The statement signed by Secretary of the Akyem Abuakwa State, Dan Ofori Atta, listed a number of criminal activities Bafour Sarpong Kumankuma, has been implicated in. He was also accused of disrespecting the Stool as several summons by it Council to answer certain questions, were never honoured.



"We wish to state unequivocally, that Bafour Sarpong Kumankuma, is not the Mponuahene of AkyemA buakwa. He is not recognized and accepted as a Chief or a holder of any traditional authority in Akyem Abuakwa.

"He acted as land guard in furtherance of his illicit and criminal profession related to unlawful sand winning, unauthorized sale of lands and violation of the order and enforcement of the public policy which has been his hall mark.

He has time without number disrespected summons to appear before the Kyebi Executive Council to answer queries regarding his nefarious activities," according to the statement from the AkyemAbuakwa State".

Welcoming Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin clarification as "soothing", the MP said it was a step in the right direction for the revered chief to set the record straight and demandthe investigation and prosecution of Bafour Sarpong Kumankuma who until recently pride himself as a chief."For the purposes of emphasis, the IGP should immediately arrests Barfour Sarpong as instructed by the Okyehene and ensure he face the law squarely", she added her voice to the call.She was worried about the damage the action of the armed soldiers and the disputed chief saying "Beyond the physical destruction of properties, the psychological effects of the military's action flowing from Barfour Sarpong's conduct, is dire".

She had words for her accusers who in the heat of the incident, blamed her saying "The political entrepreneurs who, instead of calling their Party's inspired imposter, Barfour Sarpong, to order, but failed to do so, and rather went on a wild goose's chase, castigating me for siding with the Chiefs to confront the imposter, must now bury their heads in shame for pushing their Party's agenda other than helping the chiefs and youth fight for what belongs to the Ga State.

Aside the assault on NIA officials, teachers and other innocent people, the unfortunate development has created a panicky situation in the Constituency. Constituents have been left traumatized and the children, particularly BECE candidates are struggling to get over the emotional torture they were put through".

The MP reiterated her call to the community members who fled the area during the incident to return as calm has been restored.

"I am urging all those who fled their homes to return as calm has been restored. Their safety is assured and they can go about their normal business without hindrance and/or harassment from any person or group of persons.

I extend a hand of gratitude to all those who showed interest in this unneeded spectacle and stood with the people of Domeabra Obom to draw down the curtains.

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