Court refuses bail for the alleged African Americans killers
Accra, May 15, GNA - An Accra Central Magistrates' Court, presided over by Madam Veronique Abena Praba Manfort, on Thursday refused bail application for six people connected with the murder of two African-Americans at Fihankra, near Akwamufie in the Eastern Region.
The six people, who were charged for conspiracy to commit crime and murder, are Anokye Yaw Frimpong, a Driver; Nana Appia-Nti III, a Mechanic; Nana Obiri Yeboah, a Farmer; Brenda Kareema Mohammed, a Pensioner; Yazid Alazim Mohammed, a Businessman; and Mensah Kamaugogo Muata, a Surgeon Assistant.
The Judge said the District Courts have no jurisdiction to grant bail application in a murder case and thus the Court was unable to grant the accused persons bail.
The Court has also directed the police to speed up with the investigations to avoid any undue delay in the case.
Madam Praba Manfort also ordered the investigator in the case to send Nana Obiri Yeboah, to the Accra Psychiatric hospital to be examined, pending the determination of the case.
'If the medical report is submitted to the Court, the Court will determine whether the accused person is fit to stand trial or not,' she said.
Mr Charles Owusu Juan, the Defence Counsel, said he would file an application for bail for his clients at the High Court in the coming days,
Meanwhile, Anokye has confessed in open court that he was the architect of the crime and that the other accused persons knew nothing about the crime.
Presenting the facts to the Court, Mr Stephen Adjei, the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) told the Court that the deceased persons are Mamelina Diop, 75 and Nzinga, 69, pensioners from the American Civil Service and lived at Fihankra, near Akwamufie.
He said in 1997, some African-Americans in the Diaspora decided to make Ghana their home and they acquired 218.5 acres of land at Appiakrom, which is now called Fihnakra.
The prosecution said in the agreement, the group promised to build schools, hospitals, a stadium and also provide potable drinking water to the communities.
He said the leader of the group, Oluwale Kwadwo Akpan, who has made himself a traditional chief of the area, started issuing indentures and was collecting annual rent for the lands allocated to the residents.
He said after his death in May, 2009, his wife, son and the deceased persons took over the management of the funds.
He said some of the accused persons revolted against that arrangement and accused the Akpan family and the two deceased, who were managing the fund for defrauding and mismanagement.
The prosecution said this resulted in the creation of a website, where the Akpan families and the deceased persons were maligned to the Diasporas.
'It also led to a personal confrontation, which has severed the cordial relationship between them and their lives were threatened by the accused persons,' ASP Adjei said.
He said in 2003, the Appia-Nti family filed a civil suit against the Fihankra community at the Koforidua High Court over the acquisition of the land and not fulfilling the terms of the agreement.
ASP Adjei said Brenda, Mohammed and Muata and others yet to be arrested threw their support behind the Appia-Nti family.
Later, the accused persons had series of meeting with Appia-Nti III and his elders to find a way of evicting the Akpan family from the community.
He said both parties later agreed to withdrawn the case for settlement at home but Brenda, Mohammed and Muata and others at large met Appia-Nti III and his elders and reminded them of the earlier agreement.
The prosecution said the accused persons promised to enter into better negotiations with them. They further promised Appia-Nti III a storey building belonging to the Akpan family to be used as his palace, when they were evicted.
He said during the disagreement, Brenda, Mohammed and Muata conspired with Ankoye, Appia-Nti III and Nana Frimpong, now at large to move to the community solely to monitor the activities of the Akpan family and the deceased persons.
They then rented a vacant apartment for Anokye, Yeboah and Nana Frimpong for that purpose, for which they moved into the community about nine months ago.
On May 5, the deceased persons were reported missing and a report was made to the Akosombo Police, a search led to the discovery of a freshly dug grave about 150 meters to Anokye's maize farm.
On May 6, an order was obtained from the District Court at Akosombo for the grave to be dug under the supervision of a medical officer from the VRA hospital.
The bodies were found in a shallow grave and it was removed and deposited at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital pending autopsy.
Investigation led to the arrest of the accused persons, during interrogation, Anokye confessed to the crime, while the others denied their involvement.