Bawku chieftaincy clashes: accused persons denied bail

BY: Justice Agbenorsi

An Accra Circuit Court did not grant bail to the 12 accused persons arrested for their involvement in the renewed chieftaincy clashes in Bawku.

In a ruling today, Wednesday, January 5, 2022, the court, presided over by Mr Emmanuel Essandoh, held that the circuit court did not have the jurisdiction to grant the accused persons bail.

The presiding judge explained that the matter before him bordered on fundamental human rights and, as such, it was only the High Court which had jurisdiction to grant bail.

Accused persons

The accused persons, Issahaku Barkin; Samuel Abduo Rahman; Seidu Mohammed Saani; Richard Amevor; Nantogma Kwami; Iddrisu Shaibu; Namaw Osman Nabia; Inusah Belko; Abdulai Gboo; Abdulai Nangbon Dana; Naa Tampuri and Dr Samuel Burgri, appeared before the court for the first time on provisional charges of unlawful assembly.

The accused persons were arrested last Tuesday following a renewed chieftaincy clash in Bawku which led to the loss of lives and the destruction of property.

Sporadic shootings were recorded in parts of the town prior to the renewed clashes following attempts to perform the final funeral rites for a chief who died about 41 years ago.

Bail application

Counsel for the accused persons, Mr Martin Kpebu, argued that keeping the accused persons beyond nine days constituted a breach of country’s Constitutional provision.

He argued that the action of the prosecution amounted to the Constitution being thrown to the dogs.

Bail opposed

A Senior State Attorney, Ms Vivian Osei Tutu, who opposed the bail said the matter had been filed at the High Court on December 30, last year.

According to her, once the case was at the High Court, the Circuit Court lacked capacity in any way to deal with the case.

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

She further argues that, though the accused persons had been held beyond 48 hours, a proper court was required to deal with the matter.

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