19.08.2004 Crime & Punishment

Berekum Gyasehene appears before court

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Sunyani, Aug 19, GNA - Nana Okofo Dartey III, Gyasehene of Berekum Traditional Area, on Thursday appeared before a circuit court in Sunyani for allegedly instigating some people to defy a court order that prohibited them from installing a rival Omanhene. He pleaded not guilty to two counts of abetment of crime and was granted 100 million cedis bail with two sureties to re-appear on August 31.

The court also ordered him to report to the Police Divisional Commander at Berekum twice daily.

The prosecution told the court that on August 9, Nana Ofori Appiah II, Krontihene of the traditional area and his faction in the Berekum chieftaincy dispute notified the police about their intention to nominate, elect and install Nana Atta Nyamekye, as a rival Omanhene of the area on August 16.

The police advised them to postpone the event in view of the volatile situation in the area.

The prosecution said Nana Ofori and his faction refused to comply with the police advice so the police on August 13 applied to the circuit court at Fiapre, near Sunyani, with a motion of ex-parte for an order to prohibit the holding of the event. The court granted the order and the kingmakers involved were duly served and a public announcement made on FM stations in Berekum about the order.

The prosecution said the organisers were determined to defy the court order in a letter they wrote to the police, so police personnel were deployed in the town.

He said in the morning of August 16, Nana Dartey aided and abetted other people by encouraging them to conduct themselves in a disorderly manner by using threatening language and insults with intent to cause a breach of the peace.

The accused also distributed pieces of red calico to some people who went on a procession in the streets of Berekum amidst the sound of talking drums and invited other people to come out to commit the breach of the peace and to defy the court order.

The police arrested the accused but the others fled.

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