There was heavy security presence at the Koforidua Circuit Court ‘B’ as 12 suspects arrested in connection with Somanya riot reappeared in Court Tuesday.
About 30 armed police officers mostly from the National Swat team and the Eastern regional Rapid Deployment Force Unit were present and the Anti-riot Water Cannon was also positioned at the court premises.
The Security prevented many of the sympathizers of the suspects from entering the court premises while the few persons allowed into the court premises and court room were screened.
Prosecution requested the court to remand the suspects for another two weeks to enable police conclude investigation.
The court presided over by Her Honour Mercy Adei Kotei refused to grant oral bail application by the defense counsel for the suspects hence remanded into prison custody to reappear on June 27,2017.
The defence counsel at the maiden hearing argued that most of the accused persons are victims of circumstance because they are innocent citing a Level 200 student of Mount Mary College of Education arrested when withdrawing mobile money and also Mobile banker with Yilo stars who was also arrested when collecting susu.
The accused persons are Adamptey Ebenezer Jones Dendenden, Assembly member for Sawed electoral area, Teye Isreal, a taxi driver, Michael Adjei Nortey, a student, Theophilus Narh, a carpenter, Kossivi Amana, a cook, Wisdom Tetteh, a carpenter and Jerry George, a tractor operator.
Meanwhile, the lead Defense Counsel, Simon Animley says the bail application pending at the High Court will be heard on June 16, 2017.
The others are; Wisdom Sackitey Laweh, a mobile banker, Senyo George, a glass fabricator, Felix Tawiah, a welder, Tetteh Emmanuel, a sprayer and Bacha Emmanuel, a student.
The fact of the case presented by the Prosecutor, Chief Inspector Kofi Bragogyi indicated that Staff of ECG in Somanya detected illegal consumption of power in their system hence decided to investigate through which a block factory located at Sawed electoral area belonging to the assembly member for the area was detected to have illegally connected power.
On Monday May 22, 2017, an ECG worker went to distribute electricity bills but on reaching the Block Factory of the Assembly member, he violently prevented the ECG staff and also rejected the bill stating the amount was too high.
According to the Prosecutor, the Assembly member (1st accused person) subsequently incited the residents against officials of ECG. On Friday May 26, 2017, the electricity company of Ghana, disconnected the power supply to the Assembly member’s block factory but he illegally reconnected the power.
The Prosecutor further mentioned that, later in the day, a task force was detailed to disconnect power to the block factory since he had failed to pay bills from November 2015 to May 2017 but the staff of ECG were attacked and assaulted by the Assembly member and his people.
On the same day at about 8:30am, the assembly member (1st accused) mobilized the accused persons and over 500 youth from his electoral area and violently marched to the ECG office to cause damage to the glass windows and sliding doors and the windscreen of a Nissan pick-up vehicle with registration number GP 2506.
The Prosecutor narrated that, following these developments, officials of ECG made official complaint to the Police leading to the arrest of the Assembly member on Monday 29, 2017.
The irate youth including the accused persons marched to the Somanya police station armed with cutlass, stones, sticks and other offensive weapons to attack the police station, vandalise the place and destroyed several properties including VHF gadgets, TV set, torn the station diary into pieces, damaged Louvre blades, other items at the charge office. The Prosecutor added, the irate youth also broke the cells door locks and freed four prisoners whom were remand prisoners and two others who were in custody for various offences.
The Police, according to the Prosecutor, managed to arrest 11 of the accused persons during the riot.
The court remanded the accused persons to enable further police investigate the case which was granted by Her Honour Mercy Adei Kotei, presiding Judge of Koforidua Circuit Court even though defense counsel prayed that court grants bail to the accused because most of them were wrongly arrested.
The Court has also issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Obitumi, Kofi, a Taxi Driver, Yaaba Solomon and Philip, a motor Mechanic now at large but were leaders of the riot.