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24.05.2004 Regional News

Jama-Timponim youth resolve not attend communal labour

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Jama-Timponim (B/A), May 24, GNA - The youth of Jama-Timponim, a farming community in the Techiman District of Brong Ahafo have resolved not to attend communal labour activities in the area following the arraignment of 18 colleagues before the Tuodobom circuit court.

The incarcerated youth were reported to have protested against a decision by the chief of the town, Nana Akumfi Ameyaw, to allocate a plot of land to one Mr. Yeboah Asuamah, a businessman at Techiman, popularly known as "Dollar Power", for a building project.

Nana Yeboah Asuamah, Nkwankwaahene of Jama-Timponim and a youth told Ghana News Agency at Jama-Timponim at the weekend that, they protested against the chief's decision because, that particular piece of land had already been allocated for a water project.

The chief, alias "Jesus Power", said the people used a borehole on the plot for their daily needs.

Sometime in December last year, the businessman decided to lay a foundation for the construction of a building but the youth did not agree and vandalized the place in order to stop him from working on the plot.

Nana Yeboah Asuamah explained that after the incident, the plot allocation committee secretary of the area, Mr. Kumi Adjei, reported the 18 persons and Mr. Effah Mensah, an assembly member of the area who were involved in the vandalising of the plot to the police.

The accused were remanded for eight days into Sunyani prisons custody on their first appearance on January 20 this year, but granted bail on their second appearance.

The case has since been pending at the court, hence, the youth's grievance.

Mr. Stephen Takyi, one of the accused, speaking on behalf of his colleagues, said after being granted bail of five million cedis with a surety each, all of them were made to pay two million cedis each "as a collateral fee on the bail".

The court did not issue any receipts to cover the amount until last Thursday when a solicitor, Mr. Tuah from Sunyani, challenged the court over it before receipts were issued to them to cover a one million cedis bail fee, he alleged.

Mr. Takyi said they had appeared before the court on seven occasions "but no decision has been taken and this is really affecting our economic activities".

He added that what worried them most was how the police prosecutor in the case "is dilly dallying" with the court; whenever the judge came to court, the prosecutor would be absent and would only report on the day that the court would not sit.

The 18 persons have spent a total of 882,000 cedis on transportation during the seven times they had made the trip to court, Mr. Takyi alleged.

They have petitioned to the Attorney-General and the Chief Justice through the press, to intervene to ensure that judgment is given to promote peace and understanding among the people.

They have threatened to advise themselves if the case should continue pending and be delayed at the court.