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12.09.2005 Regional News

Thugs raid Gbawe Palace

By Chronicle
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... In attempt to kill chief

THE CHIEF of Gbawe, Nii Laryea Faamlite II, a suburb of Accra narrowly escaped death when a number of thugs invaded his Palace in the early hours of last Tuesday, chanting war songs and calling for his blood.

The thugs, numbering about a hundred, wielding cutlasses, clubs and other dangerous weapons, stormed the palace when the chief and his elders were arbitrating a family dispute between one of the sub-chiefs and his wife.

The paper gathered that on Tuesday August 30, the chief and his elders were settling a family dispute around10am, when they heard some people drumming, chanting, dancing and singing war songsas they approached the palace.

“Initially we all thought that they were mourning somebody who had passed away in the town but when they started chanting the war songs, we realized that these songs were not ordinary mourning songs,” an eye witness told the paper.

The Chronicle gathered that when Nii Faamlite realised that the singers were fast approaching the palace, he sought permission from the elders and left the arbitration hall at the palace.

“No sooner had Nii left the venue of the arbitration, than the thugs invaded the palace and started calling for his head,” an elder of Gbawe told the paper.

The paper leant that when the thugs could not trace the chief, they started insulting him and warned that they would come back since they had been asked to finish the chief and nothing could stop them from caring out the orders.

The paper gathered that when the thugs could not trace the chief, they rushed to his Benz bus that was parked at the palace to set it ablaze, but some of their leaders prevailed upon them to stop since it could lead to the burning down of the whole palace.

The suggestion created a sort of misunderstanding among the group but at the end of the hostilities, they decided to push the bus outside the palace and burn it.

In the process, the paper learnt that the chief's wife and sister emerged at the scene from nowhere and tried as they did to get the group to reason with them,they would not listen.

“When the group failed to push the bus out to carry out their barbaric act, they left the palace and rather congregated in front of it, raining unprintable insults on the chiefs and vowed to eliminate him whenever he showed up at Gbawe,” an eyewitness told this reporter.

The Chronicle has the list of the leaders of the thugs and the names of those behind them to eliminate the chief.( details later).

The paper learnt that Nii Faamlite who took refuge around the palace, managed to reach the Greater Accra Deputy Police Commander on his cell phone.

“Since the deputy Regional commander was leading a team of police personnel at Odododiodio to supervise the by-elections, he informed the Odorkor Police commander who, together with some of his officers, rushed to my rescue but when they reached the palace, they met Kpakpa Achimota who lied to them that there was no riot or trouble as they claimed, Nii Faamlite told The Chronicle at his hideout.

The paper learnt that the chief managed to escape from the palace late in the night with the help of some good Samaritans who had witnessed the incident that fateful morning.

Nii Faamlite told the paper that he had since reported the incident at the Police Headquarters where he was asked to formally lodge a complaint at the Ordokor police station.

One of the thugs who invaded the palace, in a recorded interview with this reporter, said some of them were lured to join the group that Tuesday morning.

“We were made to believe that we were going to meet the chief and elders of the town to discuss our land issue, which was being occupied by Sonitra Construction Firm. This was after Amartey Akpor, a known landguard and close associate of Nii Commey Abbey, a self -styled chief at Gbawe Gonze, had distributed ¢5,000 to each member of the group,” he said.

“When we reached the palace, and they started asking for the head of the chief but failed to discuss the issues upon which we were made to join the group with the elders, some of us realized we had been deceived or fooled to do somebody's diabolical work for him,” he said.

Nii Faamlite said his only crime was that he had called for accountability of the stewardship of the Dzaasetse over the sale of Gbawe lands since 1973. This did not go down well with some people who therefore thought the only way to silence him was to kill him.

He said on the day in question when he appeared to arbitrate the family dispute, he met Nii Commey, a former Assemblyman and self styleD chief of Gbawe Gonze, together with some elders of the stool.

“Immediately I took my seat, Commey took french leave from the Palace and never returned. Minutes later, we heard the chanting and the singing of war songs,” he said.

According to Nii Faamlite, if his pursuit after accountability was the reason why some people were moving heaven and earth to kill him, then they had misfired.

He said due to lack of transparency and accountability, the town had not been able to develop as expected, despite the huge monies generated from the sale of Gbawe lands.

All efforts to get the Dzaasetse Adams Quartey to react to the concerns of the public, proved fultile when this reporter called on him at the Gbawe palace on Saturday.

The three elders who met this reporter on his arrival, promised to get theDzaasetse for an interview but after almost 20 minutes, one of the elders who had gone to see him (Dzaasetse), returned to inform this reporter that it was not possible to grant him the interview.

“He said I should tell you that he is about to sleep and he would not want to speak to any reporter,” the elder who gave his name as Ben said.

Also, the Dzaasetse's son who is the secretary to the Gbawe stool refused to speak to The Chronicle when he also sent an elder to tell this reporter that he was busy signing indentures for people.

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