Bawku chieftaincy clashes: Twelve suspects refused bail

The accused persons appeared before the court for the first time today (5 January 2022) after the State failed to arraign them on three separate occasions

Circuit Court presided over by Judge Emmanuel Essandoh, has refused bail to 12 persons suspected to be involved in the recent Bawku chieftaincy disturbances.

The accused persons appeared before the court for the first time today 5 January 2022, after the State failed to arraign them on three separate occasions.

Their charges were read to them but their pleas were not taken.

Ruling on a bail application moved by the lawyer for the accused persons, Martin Kpebu, the court said, the matter before it, bothers on “fundamental human rights and it is only the High Court that has jurisdiction to determine same”.

The accused persons are Issahaku Barkin, Samuel Abduo Rahman, Seidu Mohammed Saani, Richard Amevor, Nantogma Kwami and Iddrisu Shaibu.

The rest are Namaw Osman Nabia, Inusah Belko, Abdulai Gboo, Abdulai Nangbon Dana, Naa Tampuri and Dr Samuel Burgri.

They were arrested in December 2021, following renewed chieftaincy clashes in Bawku which led to the loss of lives and the destruction of properties.

Sporadic shootings were heard in parts of the town prior to the renewed clashes following attempts to perform the final funeral rites for a chief.

Kpebu’s argument

Martin Kpebu argued that keeping the accused persons for nine days now constitutes a breach of their fundamental human rights which are guaranteed in the 1992 Constitution.

He argued that the action of the prosecution amounted to the Constitution being thrown to the dogs.
He told the court that, Richard Amevor, is a trotro driver and was only arrested because some of the people joined his car. He said he is not an indigene.

Namaw Osman Nabia, the only female among them, counsel said has young children lactating and that her role in the whole matter was not defined.
For Seidu Mohammed, counsel argued that he is an agricultural extension officer and a student of UCC and he only took advantage of the military escort.

Dr Bugri, according to lawyer Martin Kpebu, is a retired medical officer who is over 80 years and detaining him for nine days means they want to take the small life left in him out.

AG opposition

In opposing the application for bail, State Attorney, Vivian Osei Tutu, while relying on the processes filed argued that a bail application has been filed at the High Court as of 30 December 2021.

To that end, the Circuit Court according to the State Attorney, no longer has the capacity in any shape or form to deal with the instant application.

It was the submission of the AG that, the matter happened in Banku in the Upper East Region and that the Circuit Court lacks jurisdiction to deal with the case.

She argued further that, though the accused persons have been held beyond 48 hours, the proper forum is required to deal with the matter.

She contended that the accused persons will not appear to stand trial should they be granted bail and that, the offence they committed was done when there was an imposition of a lawful curfew and a restraining order from the court for them not to organise the funeral of the late chief.

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