Monday, April 30, 2012

5 Rioters granted bail

Arpil 18, 2012 (Page 3) Five activists of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who allegedly threw stones and vandalised vehicles following the arrest and detention of the Member of Parliament for Assin North, Mr Kennedy Agyapong, Tuesday appeared before the Accra Circuit Court. According to the prosecution, the five ? Kwame Oduro, a trader; Samuel Kwaku Gyebi, a caterer; Samuel Nsiah Kwame, a miner; Isaac Kofi Dankwa, a mechanic, and Kwame Affram, an auto mechanic ? blocked the road from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service through the Ako-Adjei Interchange to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) Junction and caused disorder. It said around 8 p.m. on Monday the five and other activists burnt tyres, threw stones and other offensive missiles and subsequently damaged the windscreens of vehicles when they received information that Mr Agyapong had been refused bail for allegedly inciting tribalism and declaring war in the country. The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges of rioting and the court, presided over by Ms Audrey Korcuvie-Tay, granted them bail in the sum of GH?50,000, with two sureties each. They will reappear on May 9, 2012. Before granting the accused persons bail, the presiding judge described the current turbulence on the political scene as ?trying times?, chastised the perpetrators and described their misbehavior as ?unpardonable?. Hundreds of supporters, clad in red head and armbands walked several kilometres from the CID Headquarters and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to the premises of the Cocoa Affairs Court to lend support to the activists. They were, however, kept at bay by scores of armed policemen who stood at both entrances to the court. Only reporters with identity tags, lawyers and court officials were allowed entry into the court premises. The supporters, mostly NPP activists, stood outside for hours, in the hope of catching a glimpse of Mr Agyapong. They sang war songs while waiting. Although they were disappointed that Mr Agyapong was not brought to court, they cheered and waved at party executives who besieged the court premises. The big wigs present included the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye; a former Chief of Staff, Mr Kwadwo Mpiani; a former Minister of Defence, Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor; the National Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey; a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Akwasi Osei-Adjei; the General Secretary of the NPP, Mr Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie; a former Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr K. T. Hammond; the MP for Okere, Mr Dan Botwe, and a host of former ministers and party executives. According to the facts of the case, the accused persons were picked up around 8 p.m. on Monday, April 16, 2012 for rioting. The prosecution said the accused persons barricaded the road between the CID Headquarters and the GBC Junction, burnt vehicle tyres and caused vandalism.

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