The District Chief Executive (DCE) of Ellembelle, Kwasi Bonzo, was yesterday morning arrested at Ayisakro on the Elubo-Takoradi highway by the police for what they described as an ‘obstruction’ offence.
The case is in connection with the recovery of one of the two missing excavators from a forest after they vanished from the Teleku Bokazo illegal mining site,last Wednesday.
Details are sketchy, but, Ghanaian Times picked signals which suggested Bonzo stormed Ayisakro and had some confrontation with the policemen team, which retrieved one of the excavators and was allegedly arrested and whisked to the Western Regional Police Headquarters, at Sekondi.
As at about 8.30am, the Regional Command was engaged in a crunch meeting with Bonzo and others, a police source said, adding “he was bundled into a police vehicles and sent to Sekondi.
”Meanwhile, a police website reported that, one of the missing excavators had been retrieved at Ellembelle.
It said, Ellembelle DCE, Bonzo and three others, had also been arrested in connection with the matter.
“The Police through days of intelligence operations on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 retrieved one of the excavators that were reported missing from Ellembelle.A team of operations and intelligence officers’ working day and night discovered the missing excavator, several kilometres into a forest within the Ellembelle District,” the police said.
They added that “While the team of police officers were escorting the excavator to Takoradi, at the Axim Junction, the DCE of Ellembelle, Mr Kwasi Bonzo, organised and led some thugs, to attack the police and obstruct the operation. The DCE and three others were therefore arrested accordingly.”
The report further said, investigation continued to recover the other excavator and arrest all those behind it to face justice.
Presently, the retrieved excavator is parked at the Police headquarters.
Interestingly, a source hinted that the DISEC and REGSEC were to hold a meeting on the excavator saga today (September 8) until this ‘turf war’ broke.
Last Saturday, the Regional Police Command arrested Mr Bonzo, Francis Apeni, member of the Small Scale Mining Committee and the National Investigations Bureau (NIB) officer who seized the two excavators from the Teleku Bokazo galamsey site.
Later, Mr Bonzo was given a self-recognisance bail while he also sought bail for Mr Apeni. The NIB Divisional Commander intervened for its officer.
Earlier on Thursday, the DCE accused the Essiama Divisional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dodzi Hlordzi, for reluctantly releasing two policemen to guard the said two brand new excavators and watching its disappearance from the Teleku Bokazo galamsey site.
But, the Regional Police Command in a rebuttal on Saturday, signed by Head of Public Affairs Unit, Superintendent Olivia Adiku, said “ no excavators were handed over to the police by the DCE or any other persons from the assembly.”
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, SEKONDI