The police in Kumasi yesterday reacted swiftly to prevent what could have been a brutal clash between some traders and some heavily built men, popularly known as machomen in the city’s trading hub of Adum.
The machomen were allegedly acting on behalf of a businessman, Dr Kwaku Frimpong (also known as Champion), in the takeover of a disputed building where the traders operated.
According to the traders, the takeover was undertaken without recourse to a contract they had with the original landlord, Nana Frimpong Anokye Ababio, the Omanhene of the Agona Traditional Area.
Dr Frimpong is claiming ownership of the building, Number OTB 105 Adum.
Dr Frimpong, the owner of a number of businesses, including the Champion Divine Clinic, secured a High Court judgement on August 18, 2014 to take over the facility and followed it up with an ejection notice to occupants on May 19, 2017.
Apparently shocked by the turn of events and how the businessman got hold of his documents, the landlord, in a joint suit with the tenants through their lawyer, Asante-Krobea of Sekyere and Associates, appealed against the High Court decision.
According to the ruling, on July 18, 2017, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision by Justices Y. Appau, P. Baffoe-Bonnie, William A. Atuguba, A. A. Bennin and G. Pwamang, quashed the High Court ruling because it was not properly executed.
The traders were asked to reopen their shops and the barricade placed by Dr Frimpong and his team removed.
The lawyer for the traders subsequently wrote to the court, the Ashanti Regional Police Command, the Manhyia Palace and the Regional Minister’s office, notifying them about looming danger if Dr Frimpong continued to prevent the traders from occupying the facility.
Despite a warning by the Regional Police Command that anyone apart from the shop owners and the landlord seen at the facility would be charged for contempt, the machomen persistently prevented the traders from occupying the building.
Subsequently, when the traders decided to vent their spleen on the machomen and reopen their shops, the well-built men ‘vanished’ before the traders could mobilise.
As a result, there is heavy police presence in the densely populated trading centre to maintain law and order.