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20.05.2004 Regional News

Court discharges Dagomba youth leader

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Kumasi, May 20, GNA - Abdulai Umar alias 'Chairman,' said to be the leader of the Dagomba youth in Kumasi, was on Tuesday acquitted and discharged by a Kumasi circuit court in a case in which he was charged with illegal possession firearm.

Umar made his first appearance on April 6, this year and pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted a 20 million-cedi bail. His discharge followed the court's satisfaction that the pump action gun found in his possession was a genuine one as he had all the documents to prove that.

Earlier, counsel for Umar prayed the court to free him since the police had no evidence to establish a prima facie case against him. Counsel told the court that in the event of the police not being able to establish concrete evidence that warranted the prosecution of the accused, he had the right to be discharged as stipulated in the constitution.

The prosecutor, Police Chief Inspector John Afful had told the court that intelligence reports gathered by the police indicated that some youth at Adukrom, Sawaba, Aboabo Numbers One and Two, Akwatia-Line and Yelwa, all suburbs of Kumasi, planned to cause confusion in the metropolis for reasons best known to them.

Based on this report, he said, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the military and police mounted a dawn swoop on April 4 at those places and arrested Aminu Abubakari, Issah Adams, Issahaku Mohammed and Basiru Tahiru, who are all on police enquiry bail. Chief Inspector Afful said when the security personnel searched the room of Mohammed Baba at Aboabo Number One, a locally manufactured pistol and seven live cartridges were found in the room while a similar search at Adukrom where Umar resided, led to the discovery of a pump action gun, adding that when they were questioned, they could not provide any valid documents authorising them to use the arms.

Mohammed Baba, however, was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment in hard labour on April 13 after he pleaded guilty to possessing illegal firearm.

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