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Crime & Punishment Sat, 20 Jul 2013

Chief Priest in court for causing chaos

Eleven persons, including a Queen and a Chief Priest from Akyem Muoso near Anyinam, have appeared before the Mpraeso Circuit Court on five counts including threats to death.

They were also charged for causing unlawful damage, offensive conduct and discharging guns, and act tending.

The 11, which includes Kwame Nyarko, 43, Kofi Nyarko, 43, Kwadwo Owusu Peter, 39, Kwadwo Owusu, 22, Kwesi Owusu, 42, Samuel Kwabena Agyare, 32 and Kwesi Derrick, 17; were charged with threat to death.

The others who were charged with act tending included Kofi Anoma, 55, who is the Chief Priest, Kwame Ahenkan, 34, Kwesi Peprah, 52, and Nana Beama Dormaa, the Queen of Muoso.

Kwame Nyarko, Kofi Nyarko, Owusu Peter, and Kwabena Agyare, were also given additional charge of discharging guns in the town and offensive conduct conducive to the breach of peace in the town.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail in various sum of money to reappear on July 30.

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Prosecuting, Police Detective Inspector Christian Apronti told the court presided over by Mr Kweku Osei that there is a chieftaincy dispute between two factions at Akyem Muoso led by Nana Dormaa and Kofi Anoma and one Nana Adomako who is the traditional priest of the town.

He said on May 12, 2011, a group of people in a pick-up vehicle with registration number GE 4902-10 alleged to belong to the Okyehene, identified themselves to Kofi Anoma and other elders of the town as members of the Okyehene task force.

They said their mission was to drive away illegal miners from the town and so they were housed in an uncompleted guest house belonging to Kofi Anoma.

The prosecutor said on May 14, 2011, at about 2130 hours, the same group of people who claimed to be members of the Okyehene task force attacked Nana Adomako with cutlasses and guns, inflicting wounds on his neck and left arm, and immediately left the town leaving behind the pick-up vehicle.

Detective Inspector Apronti said since the thugs were housed in the building of Kofi Anoma, there were rumours that they were contracted by him to eliminate the victim in order to have total control over the town.

He said at about 0530 hours on May 15, 2011, Kwame Nyarko, Kofi Nyarko, Owusu Peter, Kwadwo Owusu, Kwabena Agyare and Kwesi Derrick who were on the side of the victim, decided to attack Anoma at his house with a gun and cutlasses, which resulted in the destruction of property.

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The prosecutor said the group also unlawfully erected a barrier on the Muoso –Anyinam road to prevent Kofi Anoma, Kwame Ahenkan, Kwesi Peprah and Nana Dormaa from leaving the town with their vehicles.

He said due to the chaos and insecurity created in the town, the suspects were bonded by the Kibi Magistrate Court to be of good behaviour for a year while the police conduct investigation into the case, but could not find any concrete evidence to incriminate them.

On December 13, 2011, the suspects were arrested for failing to allow peace to prevail in the town and were again put before the Magistrate Court, but were granted bail.

Detective inspector said on July 16, 2012, however, the Attorney General’s office at Koforidua instructed that all the suspects should be charged and appear before the Mpraeso Circuit Court for trial.

Source: GNA