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General News Wed, 4 Sep 2019

Land guards remanded for rioting

An Accra Circuit Court has remanded nine land guards for allegedly causing riots.

They are Stanley Tagoe, 42, alias Abuasupanin, Joshua Obosu, 20, land guard, Moses Quarshie, 23, fisherman, Ibrahim Tetteh, 40, fashion designer, Cephas Ahiagu, 24, alias Nii Ayikwei, bus conductor, Benjamin Botchwey Barnes, 24, driver, Simon Borketey Okyeame, 42, fisherman, Arnold Sethowu Amuzu, 24, fisherman, land guard and Noah Ashaley Ashilley 31, artist.

They all pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit crime to wit rioting, rioting with offensive weapons.

In addition, Tagoe and Obosu were charged with possession of narcotic drugs without authority. They both denied the offence.

They will make their next appearance on September 17.

Inspector Samuel Ahiarbor, who held brief for Chief Inspector Gulliver Kwabena Tenkorang told the court presided over by Mrs Ruby Naa Adjeley Quaison that on August 30, this year, the Weija Divisional Police Command received information that a group of land guards were shooting indiscriminately at Tuba in Accra.

Police patrol teams were dispatched to the scene but the accused persons on seeing the Police sped-off in their private cars towards Kokrobite.

He said the police personnel inspected the scene and retrieved three spent shells.

Inspector Ahiabor said, police also found out that it was Tagoe who had recruited a group of land guards at Kokrobite who engaged in the indiscriminate shooting.

The team then proceeded to Tagoe’s house, where they found the others as the ones who engaged in the unlawful discharge of the fire arms, he said. The Prosecution said, the accused persons attempted to escape but they were arrested.

A search in Tagoe’s car revealed two Pump Action guns, 239 AAA live cartridges, adding that personnel also found one pistol with two magazines; one loaded with eight rounds of ammunition in his house.

He said a number of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp was retrieved from Tagoe’s bathroom.

Inspector Ahiabor said Obosu who had a shop close to Tagoe’s house had it searched and two parcels of powdery substance suspected to be Indian hemp were found.

He said the exhibits were sealed in their presence and they were to be sent to the Police Crime Science Laboratory for analytical examination and report, stating that the case was still under investigations.

Their counsel in applying for bail said the charges were bailable, that they had substantial sureties and they would defend the charges leveled against them.

The prosecution in opposing to the bail said the accused persons in their cautioned statements told the police they had no known addresses.

He stressed that the use of offensive weapons recently had become rampant and many lives have been lost as a result and that the court should give police enough space to conduct its investigations carefully, especially, to do a search on the weapons retrieved as well as the examination of the suspected drug.

Inspector Ahiabor continued that Quarshie was facing a charge of possessing the narcotic drug without authority in another court, therefore granting them bail would not allow police to do its investigations independently.

Counsel in a rebuttal said bail should not be denied as a punishment but based on the discretion of the court, noting that a matter which was not before the court should not be taken into an account.

The lawyer said sureties’ addresses were the ones to be verified not those of the accused persons, saying that his clients were not charged with the possession of offensive weapons.

The court, however, refused them bail with the reason that police should be given the opportunity to complete their investigations.
Source: ghananewsagency.org