2 ‘galamseyers’ remanded over colleague’s murder

The Sekondi High Court has remanded two persons into prison custody, in connection  with the murder of Vasco Osei Kojo,a 26-year-old illegal miner, at  an illegal mining site  at  Akango, in  the Ellembelle  District of the Western Region.

The suspects, Sumaila Halidu, also known as, Yebole and Hamza Mohammed, belong to groups engaging in illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey,’ at Akango.

They were arrested last week, following the death of Osei, after a clash between the groups over ownership of a ‘galamsey’ site within the concession of Adamus Resources in Ellembelle.

Their pleas were not taken and they would appear again in court today, May 24.

Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Olivia Ewurabena Adiku, told  The Ghanaian Times that Osei sustained a deep cut behind the right ear, after one Kwalekwale, also a ‘galamseyer’, ‘butchered’ him with a machete,  during  a scuffle  over the galamsey site.

ASP Adiku indicated that, Kwalekwale, leader of one of the groups, was on the run, while a witness, Samuel Cofie, 19, also known as Atisco, from Osei’s group, was also arrested, to assist police in investigations into the case.

The Police PRO said at about 10.15am, on Sunday, May 7, Daniel Amakye, from Salman, reported to the police that, Osei, his nephew, who was allegedly  butchered  by a colleague galamseyer,  was rushed to the  Salman Health Centre,  but,  died shortly  on arrival at the health facility.

ASP Adiku said that when an opposing group heard  of the mining activities of  Osei’s group,  Kwalekwale, during a  scuffle  with Osei, chased the deceased and inflicted cutlass wounds  on him.

She said the body had been deposited at the Tarkwa Hospital, while Cofie was in custody assisting the police, the Police PRO told The Ghanaian Times.

An elder at the Salman palace, Mr. Abraham Kwofie, said the death was as a result of conflict between  the galamseyers  over an illegal mining site on a mining concession belonging to Adamus Resources, adding “ it was about who was first to discover gold ore”.

The wife of Osei, Madam Gifty Agborzo, who had two children with the deceased, told journalists that two men informed her of the husband’s death at Salma on Sunday morning.

From Clement Adzei Boye, Sekondi

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