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06.12.2004 General News

Volta Regional Minister held hostage

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Kwamekrom (V/R) Dec. 6, GNA - Irate mob on Monday held Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yeboah, Volta Regional Minister and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Candidate for the Biakoye Constituency, hostage for several hours in the house of his campaign Manager Mr Lawson Afun at Kwamekrom.

The mob accused Mr Afun and Mr Owusu-Yeboah of preparing to rig the elections and prevented them from leaving the house. The armed youth barricaded the road to the house with blocks and logs and pelted it with clubs, stones and metal objects.

The crowd only dispersed after the Police bodyguard of the Regional Minister had fired several warning shots.

Several arrests have been made in connection with the incident. Commenting on the incident, Mr Afun said the attack was ill motivated because the allegation of vote rigging being peddled by the youth was false and a figment of the imagination of opponents of his Party. He said he was informed earlier in the day that the Police were looking for him and he went to the Police Station.

Mr Afun said the Police told him that they had information that he had some ballot boxes in his house.

The Campaign Manager denied the charge and said he was a law-abiding citizen, who would not stoop so low to flout the Constitution. Mr Afun said: "Though I persuaded the Police to search my house they did not come."

He said he reported the matter to the Regional Minister, who arrived later and he went to enquire from the Police if they had a warrant to search his house.

He said between 0100 hour and 0200 hours they were woken up from their sleep when the mob started throwing stones and other heavy objects onto the roof of his house.

Mr Afun said the Regional Minister wanted to leave early in the morning to attend to some important issues but the mob would not allow him to go, thus compelling his Police bodyguard to fire several warning shots to scare them.

The Station Master at the Kwamekrom Police Station, Inspector Ebenezer Sordje said one Bawa Kankani informed him that election malpractices were going on in the house of Mr Afun and he rushed there with a Constable but they did not meet Mr Afun in there.

Inspector Sordje said he subsequently made a report to the Divisional Police Commander at Worawora.

He said based on rumours of rigging making the rounds, a group of National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters besieged the house of Mr Afun, where the Regional Minister was lodging and refused to leave until the house was searched.

He said the Kpando District Commander of Police ordered the arrest of the leaders of the mob and Vincent Abotsi alias Dokonawo (unless you burst); Bawa Kankani; Kalala and five others were arrested.

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