Court Issues Bench Warrant For Ex-Chief, Three Others

court_emblemThe Bibiani Circuit Court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a former chief of Kwame Tawiahkrom near Sefwi Debiso, in the Bia West District of the Western Region and three others, for failing to appear before the court on Thursday.

Nana Kwame Tawiah III and other accused persons was billed to appear in court in connection with the looting of 22 bags of cocoa amidst the firing of gunshots from a depot in the town in October, last year.

They howeverfailed to turn up without any explanations to the court and consequently, the bench warrant was issued for their arrest.
Nana Tawiah III, alias Opanyin Yaw Bour ,47, the destooled chief of Kwame Tawiahkrom and  the three others, are all  farmers.
The names of the others are Kwabena Addae, 32; Kwasi Boamah, 23 and Kwame Rawlings.  They have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime and robbery.

Briefing The Ghanaian Times on the matter yesterday, the Sefwi Debiso Police Commander, ASP Daniel Wiafe, said on Thursday June 19, Nana Tawiah did  not attend court and failed to send somebody to represent him.

Nana Tawiah and the other  accused  persons had   appeared  before the Bibiani Circuit  Court presided over by Mr. Emmanuel Ankamah on  May  8  and  pleaded  not guilty to the charges  and subsequently, granted  bail  in the sum of GH¢5,000 each with one surety to justify and to  appear again on Thursday, June 19,  but  did  not turn up.

Meanwhile, the accused persons had paid GH¢4,000 being the cost of the 22 bags of cocoa beans they allegedly stole from the depot.
Earlier, in October last year, the accused  persons appeared  before the Sefwi-Wiaso Magistrate Court and  on the advice  from the Attorney-General’s office, but were discharged on Tuesday, April 30  and re-arrested for the case  to be  transferred from Sefwi-Wiaso to the Sefwi Bibiani Circuit Court for them to be charged  for full prosecution to begin.

Giving the facts of the case to the court, Detective Chief Inspector (DCI), Mike Agbaglo said, following  a chieftaincy dispute which ensued at Kwame Tawiah krom ,near Sefwi  Debiso in October last year, the District Security Committee (DISEC) of the Bia  West  District Assembly, formed a committee charged with the oversight  responsibility over a cocoa farm  which had been  a subject of  dispute and belonging to the Kwame Tawiahkrom state.

The dispute, he explained, was between   Nana Kwame Tawiah II alias Kwame Anto, and the first accused, Nana Kwame Tawiah III, both of whom have been  destooled.

According to DCI Agbaglo, the responsibility of the committee,  which included  the Unit Committee chairman  of the area, Kwame Osei, the assemblyman and two representatives, each from the two factions,  was to harvest the cocoa from the disputed farm and deposit the proceeds at the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) at Sefwi Debiso, the district capital.

Based on this directive, he told the court that, on October 26, the committee started working and with some labourers led by the Unit Committee Chairman, the members harvested seven mini bags of fermented cocoa beans and kept them at the Chairman’s depot, who is also a Purchasing Clerk in the area adding that, already, Mr Osei had 15 bags of cocoa at the depot.

The prosecutor said at 5 p.m. on the same day, the first  accused person and the   others,  mobilised themselves, attacked  the depot which  was  close to the Unit Committee Chairman’s house and started firing and throwing stones and forcibly opened the doors   and stole the seven  bags containing the fermented  cocoa beans  and the 15 bags  belonging  to  Mr. Osei.

“A report was made to the police and the accused persons were arrested and arraigned before this court,” DCI Agbaglo added. -Clement Adzei Boye, Takoradi

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