An Accra High Court has granted bail to the 12 suspects allegedly involved in the Bawku Chieftaincy disturbances which led to the loss of lives and the destruction of property.
Each of the 12 accused persons pleaded not guilty to two charges of unlawful assembly with weapons and offensive conduct Conducive to the breach of peace.
They were granted bail to the tune of 20,000 cedis each with one surety.
The decision comes after several attempts by lawyers for the accused to be granted bail by the Circuit Court.
The suspects have been charged with unlawful assembly with offensive weapons and offensive conduct to the breach of peace.
They are expected to reappear before the court on February 12, 2022.
The 12 suspects were arrested following a renewed chieftaincy clash in Bawku last Monday, January 3, 2022, which led to the loss of lives and the destruction of property.
Court refuses to grant 12 suspects’ bail
The court had earlier refused to grant the 12 suspects’ bail.
There was serious disagreement at the Circuit Court 4 in Accra on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, as lawyers clashed over a bail application for the 12 accused persons.
The accused persons, according to the Prosecution, had violated a curfew in Bawku, and a restraining order, to perform the funeral rites of a chief who died almost 40 years ago, and at the same time to enskin a new chief for an area that already has a chief.
Leading the prosecution, Vivian Osei Tutu of the Attorney General’s department said there will be chaos and anarchy in Bawku if the 12 accused persons are granted bail.
She said that the security situation in Bawku was already volatile, and that granting the 12 accused persons bail would only heighten the already precarious situation.
Lawyer for the accused persons, Martin Kpebu, however disagreed with the facts as asserted by the Prosecution.
He described the accused persons as responsible and respectable people, some sub-chiefs with hundreds of thousands of subjects under them.
According to Mr. Kpebu, the accused persons had not enskinned a new chief, neither did they cause any chaos or anarchy in Bawku.
This bail was granted after their lawyers moved to the High Court two days after the Circuit Court ruled that, it does not have jurisdiction to grant bail to them.
The accused persons who appeared before the court for the first time on January 5, after missing January 1 and 4 sittings are Issahaku Barkin, Samuel Abdul Rahman, Seidu Mohammed Saani, Richard Amevor, Nantogma Kwami, Iddrisu Shaibu, Namaw Osman Nabia, Inusah Belko, Bugboo Wudaana, Abdulai Nangbon Dana, Naa Tampuri and Dr Samuel Burgri.
The brief facts of the case according to the prosecution were that, during the month of November 2021, the Police had information that the Regent of Mamprusi, the Bawku Naa, Adam Ibrahim Zangbe and his elders were preparing to perform the funeral rites of their late chief Alhai Adam Zangheogo and subsequently enskin a new chief, an event which was likely to occasion n breach of the peace since there is already a chief in Bawku.
The prosecution said, the plan by the accused persons to perform the funeral of the late chief heightened tension in the town.
It said, the Police therefore sought an Order from the District Court to restrain the chief and his elders from organizing the funeral rites of the late chief Alhaji Adam Zangbeogo in order to keep the peace.
The Police prosecution said, served the Order on the chief and his elders.
According to the prosecutio, in order to “further control the tension and security situation at Bawku, on 22nd December 2021, the Minister for the Interior by an Executive Instrument renewed the curfew imposed on the Bawku municipality and its environs in the Upper East Region from 8:00pm to 5:00am effective the same day Notwithstanding the security measures put in place as well as the restraining order from the court.”
Irrespective of this measure, the prosecution said, “on December 26 and 27, 2021, the accused persons and others at large, armed with offensive weapons, and in violation of the curfew and order from the court, assembled at the premises of the Mamprusi Regent’s Palace between 3:00am and 10.00am each day to perform the funeral rites of the late chief, with the view to enskin a new chief in contravention of the court order.
“The abusive conduct exhibited by the accused persons was resisted by some residents of the Bawku community which culminated into sporadic shooting within the community.
“The accused persons were arrested and have been arraigned before this Court” the prosecution noted.