The rival paramount chief at Kumawu, in the Ashanti Region, Barimah Tweneboah Kodua V, 59, and eight others have been arrested in connection with the recent Kumawu-Bodomase riot, which resulted in the injury of five policemen and two soldiers.
The others are, Yaw Barimah, 76, Kyei Mensah, 65, Kofi Nyarko, 62, Kwame Banor, 53, Michael Akuoko, also known as Candy, 39, Collins Asamoah, 38, Emmanuel Banfoh Datus, 32, Asumadu Timothy Kessey, 30.
A combined team of the military and police stormed Bodamase at Monday to effect the arrest of the suspects.
Earlier, it was gathered the security personnel’s dawn swoop was in search of a weapon which was missing during the clash between the security agents and the supporters of the rival chief on February 18, this year.
An eyewitness, Abena Dapaah, claimed her husband was beaten and arrested, stressing that the personnel went from house-to-house beating people, especially males and some youth fled the town.
It is recalled that, The Ghanaian Times, in its Saturday. February 18, 2017, edition, carried a story on the clash, in what seemed like a resurrection of a protracted chieftaincy dispute in Kumawu traditional area.
Supporters of the rival chief were said to have thrown ‘petrol bomb’ at the personnel, injuring seven of them, and one of them was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).
The incident happened at the funeral of an Akyempemhene of Kumawu when the security agents were said to have had intelligence that, the rival chief was planning to attend the funeral, which was also equally attended by the Kumawu Paramount Chief, recognised by Manhyia, Barimah Sarfo Twenboah Koduah and his supporters.
Upon reaching Bodomase roundabout, the security created a human wall, which sought to prevent the procession from attending the funeral, and in the process, someone threw ‘petrol bomb’ at the security, causing injury of the seven personnel.
The police resorted to the use of tear gas to disperse the crowd and few minutes later, about 50 supporters of the rival chief said to be armed with guns, clubs, stones and other offensive weapons attacked the security personnel.
A statement signed by the Ashanti Regional Police Public Affairs Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Yaw Nketia-Yeboah, and issued to The Ghanaian Times here, indicated the suspects have been charged with rioting with offensive weapons, abetment, causing harm and damage as well as attempted murder.
The Kumawu chieftaincy dispute dates as far as 2014 before Barimah Tweneboah Koduah IV was installed by three of five king makers in Kumawu on January 2015.
The installation followed the rejection and non-recognition of Barima Sarfo Tweneboah Kodua, who had been earlier installed by a section of the kingmakers.
After a protracted litigation, Barima Sarfo was made to swear an oath of allegiance to the Asantehene Otumfou Osei Tutu II on November 3, 2014.
From Kingsley E. Hope, Kumasi