Sodom and Gomorrah rioters remanded

Some of the  Old Fadama suspects arriving at the court. Photo, Anita Nyarko

Some of the Old Fadama suspects arriving at the court. Photo, Anita Nyarko

Thirteen of the 31 residents of Sodom and Gomorrah, who were arrested, following the riots on Monday, were remanded in custody by the Accra Magistrate’s Court yesterday, because there were no interpreters to assist them.

The accused persons, who do not speak any other language apart from Dagbani and Hausa, were remanded until July 2 to enable the court to get an interpreter to explain their charges to them.

Eighteen others who pleaded not guilty for engaging in unlawful demonstration, rioting with weapons and obstructing the public, were granted GH¢5,000 bail with two sureties each to be justified, but were unable to meet the bail conditions and therefore remanded in police custody until July 9.

Some of the accused persons wept in the courtroom when their charges were read to them.

Mr. Longinus Chinedu, counsel for two of the accused persons, Mohammed Ishaku Yaaba and Owusu Appiah, prayed the court, presided over by Mrs. Adwoa Akyaamaa Ofosu to grant them bail.

He said his clients were Ghanaians and would report to the police anytime they were called upon to do so.

The prosecutor, Inspector Emmanuel Haligah, however asked the court to remand them for further investigations.

He said the accused persons did not have any fixed abode and that the cost of damage to property needed to be assessed.

Mr. Haligah told the court that on June 22, the Greater Accra Regional Police Command had information that some youth of Agbogbloshie, numbering about 3,000 were marching from the ‘Arena’ through the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue to Parliament House holding placards.

He said the police quickly proceeded to the place and met the youth, including the accused persons, some of whom were armed with stones and clubs.

Inspector Haligah said the protestors were denied entry by the police, and not satisfied, they ‘uprooted’ flowers at the Parliament House, destroyed the Coat of Arms and some flower pots.

“The accused persons later went back to Agbogbloshie and set fire to lorry tyres in the middle of the road to prevent motorists and commuters from using it,” he said.

The prosecutor said the accused persons and others, now at large, vandalised police vehicles with registration numbers GP 8 (Nissan Patrol), GP 1636 (Mahindra Scorpio), GP 3887 (Nissan Navara), GP 1570 and a Honda motorbike.

He said the activities of the accused persons, compelled many companies and businesses, at Agbogbloshie including the branches of Barclays and HFC banks to close down.

Inspector Haligah said some drivers who were trapped, abandoned their vehicles in the middle of the road and the accused persons and others took advantage of the situation, ransacked the vehicles and vandalised them.

Inspector Haligah said they were later arrested and charged.

By Anita Nyarko

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