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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 10 June 2010

Source: GNA

Omanhene, queen mother and three others in court for stealing

Koforidua, June, 10 GNA - Okotwasuo Owarae Agyekum III, Omanhene of t he Akyem Bosome Traditional Area, Nana Kwartema Munkyin II, queen mother and

three others on Wednesday appeared before the Koforidua High Court on charges of conspiracy and stealing of stool regalia. They all pleaded not guilty and were granted self-cognizance bail to

reappear on July 06.

The court presided over by Justice Owusu Kwarteng, granted a self cognizance bail Okotwasuo Oworae Agyekum III and three others including N ana Kwartema Munkyin II, for conspiracy and stealing. Mr Emmanuel Essampong, Regional State Attorney, told the court that aft er the death of Okotwasuo Kantamanto Oware Agyekum II in 1996, past Omanhene of the area, some stool regalia were stolen from the palace.

He said a search was conducted and some of the items were later retrieve d and inventory was taken on January 07, 1997 and copies made available to all stakeholders including the accused persons. Mr Essampong said the items were later placed under the custody of the Gyasehene, Nana Oduro II, but after his death they were entrusted in the care of Abusuapanyin Kwasi Appiah. He said after the installation of Okotwasuo Oworae Agyekum III, the Quee n mother, Nana Munkyin, requested Abusuapanyin Appiah to show the stool property to the new chief. Mr Essampong said when the door was opened it was discovered that two cloths and an umbrella had been stolen and the items were later found in the room of Opanyin Kwasi Appiah. He said the queen mother subsequently reported the case to the police an d Opanyin Kwasi Appiah was arrested and later arraigned before the Akyem Swedru Circuit Court where he was later sentenced to three years imprisonment on his own plea.

Mr Essampong said after those developments, the Dabehene was placed in charge of the palace to take care of the properties, but due to old age h e mandated his son to be sleeping in the palace instead.

He said in 2003, the accused persons around 12 midnight went to the pala ce and ordered the son of Dabehene to vacate the place since the current Omanhene was coming to stay there. Mr Essampong said in April 2003, the complainant in the case, Nana Gyado m Ahinkorah II, claimed he had information that the royal properties had be en stolen again.

He said the complainant reported the case to the police for another inventory to be taken but this was resisted by the queen mother. Mr Essampong said the complainant later went for court order which compelled the queen mother and the Omanhene to allow the inventory to be taken. He said when the inventory was taken and compared with the one taken in 1997 they discovered a shortfall of 21 items. The State Attorney said a report was made to the police and the accused persons were summoned before court. 10 June 10