Landguards on rampage …beat up workers, destroy property at Appolonia

Landguard victim

Landguard victim

A group of young men known locally as landguards have brutally assaulted four heavy machine operators and a number of workers at Appolonia near Kpone-Katamanso in the Greater Accra Region, causing various degrees of injuries to them.

The victims had been contracted by Asanduff Group of Company Limited, a construction firm, to work on their 34-acre parcel of land on January 19, this year, when they were attacked and brutally beaten up by a band of club and machete-wielding landguards.

Sources say some of the workers managed to wriggle their way out and took to their heels in a bid to save their lives; but one of them – Samuel Addai, was unlucky as he was overpowered and tortured – leaving him for dead – only to be rescued by a taxi driver who conveyed him to the hospital.

A director of Asanduff Group of Company, Ebenezer Kumi, alleged that the landguards were organised by one Oko and Iddrisu Mansuro “to harass and visit mayhem on us continuously for no apparent reason.”

According to him, the landguards have also demolished the fence wall under construction on the land, set ablaze heavy equipment (back-hoe and pay-loader), pulled down electricity poles and constantly beat up workers on the land.

“Why they are doing this, we cannot tell as we legally acquired the land from Setho Classic Engineering in 2017 and duly registered it.”

Mr Kumi told the Ghanaian Times on Tuesday that Asanduff Groups initially went to the Tema Regional Police Headquarters to lodge a complaint about the activities of the landguards on their land; “and to our surprise, one Iddrisu Mansuro had already been there to make a report, apparently contesting the ownership of our own land.”

“They were then asked to produce documents to the land they claimed ownership of, but as we speak, they have absolutely nothing to show. They were, therefore, warned by then Regional Commander not to step foot on the land,” he said.

The case is now with the Ashaiman Divisional Police as it falls under their jurisdiction.

When contacted, the Ashaiman Divisional Commander of Police, Chief Superintendent Samuel Amissah, said the matter was under investigation.

According to him, the police had a distress call on that day that some people from Asanduff Groups of Companies had sent earth-moving machines to demolish a fence wall that had been erected around a plot of land, “but the youth in the area organised themselves, attacked and beat them.”

The police, he said, moved quickly to the site but all the attackers had ran away by the time they got there.  “There operators of the machines could also not be found.”

“We, therefore, visited the nearby hospitals around to see whether any wounded persons had been admitted but it was to no avail,” he said.

Chief Supt. Amissah said police therefore brought the earth moving machines to the division and later contacted the machine owner who said one of the operators had been sent to his hometown to receive herbal treatment.

He said the police spoke to the second operator who promised to come over to the station and give a statement and help identify the perpetrators, “but he did not come.”

The director of Asanduff Group however wondered how it was possible for “our own workers to destroy our wall and then call the police.”

Chief Supt. Amissah added that no arrests had been made.

He, however, noted that on Wednesday, January 23, the owner of the Asanduff Group of Companies came to the Division with a worker named Edward Sefah Kwarteng, who gave a statement to the police after which the machines were released to him.

Chief Supt. Amissah said police were working with Kwarteng to get the perpetrators arrested.

Meanwhile, Mr Kumi has made a passionate appeal to the government to intervene and enable the Asanduff Group to continue with work on the land as construction of a block factory was going to employ more than 200 workers.

BY JOHN VIGAH& GODFRED BLAY-GIBBAH

 

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