The 12 suspects arrested in connection with the riot in Somanya in the Eastern region have been granted a staggering Ghc840, 000 bail with 24 sureties by the Koforidua Circuit Court ‘B’ presided over by Her Honour Mercy Addai Kotei.
Per the bail application granted by the Court on Tuesday, each suspect has been granted a bail of Ghc70, 000 with two sureties.
According to information gathered, the Police has not been able to conclude investigation into the matter for the docket to be forwarded to the Attorney General for advice.
The Defense counsel at the maiden hearing argued that most of the accused persons are victims of circumstances.
The defense cited a Level 200 student of Mount Mary College of Education who was arrested after he had gone to withdraw mobile money and also Mobile banker with Yilo Stars who was also arrested after he had gone to collect susu.
The accused persons are Adamptey Ebenezer, Jones Dendenden, Assembly member for Sawed electoral area, Teye Isreal a taxi driver, Michael Adjei Nortey a student, Theophilus Narh a carpenter, Kossivi Amana, a cook, Wisdom Tetteh a carpenter and Jerry George a tractor operator.
The others are; Wisdom Sackitey Laweh a mobile banker, Senyo George a glass fabricator, Felix Tawiah a welder, Tetteh Emmanuel a sprayer and Bacha Emmanuel, a student .
Information gathered indicate that, the bail granted the suspects has triggered happiness among the youth in the area as well as students of Mount Mary College of Education who mostly went to court in their school uniforms.
The facts of the case presented by the Prosecutor, Chief Inspector Kofi Bragogyi indicated that Staff of ECG in Somanya detected illegal consumption of power in their system hence decided to investigate through which a block factory located at Sawed electoral area belonging to the assembly member for the area was detected to have illegally connected power.
On Monday May 22, 2017, an ECG worker went to distribute electricity bills but on reaching the Block Factory of the Assembly member, the assembly member violently prevented the ECG staff and also rejected the bill stating that the amount was too high.
According to the Prosecutor, the Assembly member (1st accused person) subsequently incited the residents against officials of ECG. On Friday May 26, 2017, the electricity company of Ghana, disconnected the power supply to the Assembly member’s block factory but he illegally reconnected the power.
The Prosecutor further mentioned that, later in the day, a taskforce was detailed to disconnect power to the block factory since he had failed to pay bills from November 2015 to May 2017 but the staff of ECG were attacked and assaulted by the Assembly member and his people.
On the same day at about 8:30am, the assembly member (1st accused) mobilized the accused persons and over 500 youth from his electoral area and violently marched to the ECG office to cause damage to the glass windows and sliding doors and the windscreen of a Nissan pick-up vehicle with registration number GP 2506.
The Prosecutor narrated that, following these developments, officials of ECG made official complaints to the Police leading to the arrest of the Assembly member on Monday 29, May 2017.
The irate youth including the accused persons marched to the Somanya police station armed with cutlass, stones, sticks and other offensive weapons to attack the police station, vandalise the place and destroyed several properties including VHF gadgets, TV sets, tore the station’s diary into pieces, damaged Louvre blades, other items at the charge office.
The Prosecutor added, the irate youth also broke the cells door locks and freed four prisoners whom were remand prisoners and two others who were in custody for various offences.
The Police, according to the Prosecutor, managed to arrest 11 of the accused persons during the riot.
The Court has also issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Obitumi Kofi, a Taxi Driver, Yaaba Solomon and Philip, a motor Mechanic now at Large but were leaders of the riot.