THE NKAWIE Circuit Court, presided over by John Michael Abbey, has remanded three chainsaw operators, who allegedly entered the Tano Offin Forest Reserve to fell trees without any authorization.
They were charged with illegal felling and sawing of trees but their pleas were not taken, and they would reappear in court on October 13, 2020.
Forest guards arrested the three men — Kwaku Gyamfi, 45; Kofi Fofie, 43, and Yaw Prince — at the Mpasaso portion of the forest reserve last Thursday.
Shortly after their arrest, some angry youth from Mpasaso in the Ahafo-Ano South District of the Ashanti Region were said to have attempted to free the suspects, but they were overpowered by the personnel of Nkawie Forest District Division.
Briefing DAILY GUIDE, Nifaasoyir Chrisantus, the Nkawie Forest District Manager, said three chainsaw machines which the suspects were reportedly using to fell the trees were confiscated and would be used as exhibit in the court.
He said on September 28, 2020 at about 10 a.m., he, Edward Nyamaah, the Assistant District Manager; Rose Gyawu, Forest Range Manager, and other forest guards embarked on their usual inspections in the Tano Offin Forest Reserve.
They heard the sound of a chainsaw machine and as they approached the scene, they saw the three suspects busily felling down some of the trees.
As soon as the suspects saw the forest guards, they decided to run away but Kwaku Gyamfi and Kofi Fofie were immediately arrested.
He said Yaw Prince managed to escape to the Mpasaso community where he allegedly mobilized a mob to free his accomplices; the mob waited for the forest personnel on the outskirts of Mpasaso where they had parked their vehicle.
According to Nifaasoyir Chrisantus, the angry mob verbally assaulted the driver who was waiting for them and threatened to deal with him if Kwaku Gyamfi and Kofi Fofie were not freed.
He said on their way, the mob approached them and attempted to forcibly free the two but they managed to escape with the suspects. They then handed over the suspects to the Nkawie Divisional Police Command for further investigation and prosecution.
Kwaku Gyamfi and Kofi Fofie, he said, admitted to the offence in their cautioned statements to the police and mentioned Yaw Prince as their accomplice, leading to his arrest.