Court withdraws warrant for gang accused of raiding NPP Headquarters

AN Accra Circuit Court which issued a bench warrant yesterday morning for the arrest of five people accused of raiding the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Headquarters, withdrew the warrant in the afternoon after the accused rushed to the court for the case to be recalled.

Nii Teiko Ayi-Bontey, Michael Agoha, Shamzu Dinni and Obed Yawson, are among the 11 people charged with the offence but were absent in court in the morning.

They rushed to the court in the afternoon after the warrant was issued with the excuse that they were hungry and decided to comb around for food.

Following this, the court presided over by Rubby Naa Adjeley, withdrew the bench warrant issued at the request of the prosecution and adjourned the case to December 22.

All the accused have pleaded not guilty to the charges of unlawful entry, contrary to Section 152 of the Criminal Code 1960 (Act 29).

The other charges are, being on the premises for unlawful purpose, contrary to Section 155 of the Criminal Offences Act 29 (1960), amended by the NLCD 398 paragraph 7, and causing unlawful damage contrary to Act 172 of the Criminal Offences Act 29 (1960).

According to the facts of the case as presented by the prosecutor, Deputy Superintendent of Police, (DSP) Ibraham Annor, the police acted on information gathered at about 2:30 a.m. that some soldiers had invaded the headquarters of the NPP, at Asylum Down in Accra, causing damage to property.

He added that upon that, the police rushed to the scene and one of the accused Bismark Osei Danso, a retired soldier, together with 10 others wearing red T-shirts with the inscription “United Patriot”, were arrested and sent to the Accra Regional Police Office and subsequently to the Headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

DSP Annor revealed that during investigations and in their caution statements, Bismark Danso stated that he mobilised eight other retired military men living at Kakasonanka, near Michel Camp, dressed them in military uniforms and took them to the NPP head Office.

He stated that the retired soldiers had picked up information that the “Invisible Forces” providing security for the headquarters wielded weapons, and they had to disarm them before they organi-sing a peaceful meeting with the executives and the suspended chairman, Paul Afoko.

The prosecutor said in addition to the ex-servicemen, they mobilised 480 party supporters from the 10 regions of the country to support their press conference after the meeting.

However, DSP Annor told the court that after they got to the Headquarters, the retired soldiers took the Invisible Forces hostage, and locked them up in the security room, entered the premises and returned with three SMG guns loaded with 36 live ammunitions and three matchetes.

They informed the caretakers and the security that they found the weapons near the generating set behind the building.

The retired soldiers said a member of the Invincible Force, Moro Sulemana, was the custodian of the weapons.

The prosecutor said the security man denied ownership of the weapons, which the police were still investigating.

He said Sulemana, in his caution statement, denied the allegations, claiming he is a porter who only goes to the headquarters of the party to sleep during the night.

He added in his statement that later in the night, three buses loaded with youth in red T-shirt arrived at the headquarters, were allowed in and immediately vandalised property.

 By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme            

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