General News Thu, 5 Oct 2006

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Police Save Chief From Being Lynched

IRATE youth of Odumase in the Juaben Traditional Area on Monday stormed the queenmother’s palace with clubs and stones and sought to lynch the newly installed chief, Nana Kofi Antwi, the queenmother, Nana Yaa Koah and some elders.

This was to register their opposition to the chief’s installation.

The incident took place when the chief and his elders had gathered at the queenmother’s residence after the installation ceremony.

As the youth advanced, the chief and the others fled into the house, but the mob destroyed the doors and windows to gain access to the living room where they caused extensive damage to everything in sight.

Thereafter, they engaged some supporters of the chief who were protecting him, in fighting in their efforts to get to where the chief and his elders were hiding but the timely arrival of the police scared them away.

Briefing the Times here yesterday, Inspector Mohammed Yusif Tanko of the Ashanti Regional Police Public Affairs unit said the police managed to arrest eight of the rioters, five of whom have been charged with rioting and causing unlawful damage. The Odumasi stool, according to him, had been vacant for sometime time following the death of the chief, consequently, two people, Lord Afrifa, an Immigration Officer and Nana Kofi Antwi, a Prisons officer contested the stool.

The queenmother’s nomination of Nana Antwi was endorsed by the Juabenhene.

But before the installation could take place, Mr Afrifa filed a suit at a Kumasi court restraining the installation which, according to custom, should precede the burial of the dead chief.

The funeral was however held last two weeks before the hearing of the case and its eventual dismissal by the court thus paving the way for the installation.

With the determination of the case, Nana Antwi was on Monday taken through the various rituals and duly installed as the new chief of the area.

After the ceremony, they left the palace for the queenmother’s residence where they were attacked by Mr Afrifa’s supporters.

Inspector Tanko said the attackers having failed to break into the queenmother’s bedroom through the window because of the burgler proofing, destroyed the main gate, and other valuables in the house.

He said the police retrieved a heap of stones allegedly thrown into the house by the attackers.

Five of the suspects who were charged with rioting and causing unlawful damage were yesterday arraigned before the Juaso Circuit Court presided over by Mr J. B. Boon.

They pleaded not guilty. The court granted bail to Vida Owusu and Doris Boadiwaa but remanded Duah Boateng, Kofi Opoku and Abdullai Timpain to prisons custody until October 12.

Inspector Tanko, told the Times that calm had returned to the area as the police have since the incident maintained their presence there.

Source: Ghanaian Times

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