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Wa: Death toll in land dispute incident now two; family challenges Police account 

BY: Emmanuel Modey
Wa: Retired lecturer Stephen Mane shot dead over land dispute
Wa: Retired lecturer Stephen Mane shot dead over land dispute

The death toll in the shooting incident over an alleged land dispute at Wa on Thursday has risen to two.

The second deceased person is Iddris Alhassan, 46, an administrative staff of the Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business Integrated Studies (SDD-UBIS).

He died Friday morning (March 18, 2022) at the regional referral hospital from the gunshot wounds he sustained from the incident.

Three others who also sustained various gunshot wounds are receiving treatment at the Wa Municipal Hospital.

They are Haruna Umar, 34, a driver, Hamza Hamid, 19, a student and Amish Umar, a driver.

According to the police, there was an alleged land dispute between two families, Abdul Raman Yunusah on hand and Stephen Mane on the other-side.

Stephen Mane, a retired lecturer of the Hilla Limann Technical University was shot dead in Wa during a confrontation in relation to the land dispute on Thursday, according to the Upper West Regional Police Commander, DCOP Peter Ndekugri.

The 64-year-old retired lecturer was reportedly shot at close range according to the police.

Read also: Wa: Retired lecturer shot dead over land dispute

Facts

DCOP Ndekugri said there was a parcel of land in Wa near the Shell filling station which was under dispute between Abdul Raman Inusah and his family one side and Mane on the other side. He said they are both from the same extended family.

The police commander said preliminary information gathered is that Yunusah had sent his workers to the land and the elders asked him to withdraw from the land for them to first resolve a dispute.

He said the family had planned to meet on Wednesday (March 16, 2022) to arbitrate the issue, "however, yesterday [Wednesday] there was a funeral in the house and they could not sit down to arbitrate. So today Inusah sent his workers [back] to the site."

DCOP Ndekugri said according to the other side, they went to sack the workers and the workers called Inusah on the telephone to inform him about the development and added that a group of people numbering about 50 had driven them off the land.

"And so he [Yunusah] picked his [Toyota] Tundra pick-up, [GE 650 - 13] drove to the place, and he had his gun inside... according to him, when he got there, and the group saw him, they turned to attack him, so he rushed into his car, whilst running his money fell and somebody took it according to him, I was not there, he picked the gun out [of the car] and according to him..."

The police commander said the police upon hearing of the incident deployed SWAT to the place to try and normalise the situation but when they got there, he [Inusah] had fired and scared the people away.

So the police quickly arrested him and brought him to the police station and later on went to pick up the casualty to the regional hospital, unfortunately, Stephen Mane, the retired lecturer was pronounced dead by the doctor on duty.

Stephen Mane's family challenges police account

Meanwhile, the family of Stephen Mane has challenged the police account that Mane and the suspect Yunusah were related and was involved in a land dispute.

In a press statement the family said:

"We are baffled by the deliberate attempt of the media and Police Administration to establish some sort of familial relations between the deceased and the suspect. We find this to be extremely unfair and repugnant and would like to state the facts as follows:

1. The deceased, Mr. Stephen Langton Mane comes from Tizza in the Jirapa Municipality of the Upper West Region whilst the suspect, Alhaji Inussah Rahman comes from Kabanye in the Wa Municipal Assembly. The two do not belong to the same family or have any familial link whatsoever as both the police and some media reportage portray.

2. Prior to his unfortunate murder, Mr. Mane was not involved in any land dispute with either the suspect or any other person or family."

Court remands Yunusah in custody

Meanwhile, the Wa Magistrate Court presided over by Mr Maxwell Titriku has remanded the suspect, Abdul Rahman Yunusah, a 61-year-old businessman into police custody, reports Graphic Online's Emmanuel Modey from Wa.

His plea was not taken and he is to re-appear on March 25, 2022.

Yunusah has been charged on two counts of murder and three counts of causing harm. 

The Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) John Baidoo pleaded with the court to remand the suspect to enable them do a proper investigation of the case. 

Yunusah, last Thursday was alleged to have shot from a pump action gun into a group of people at close range during a confrontation in a dispute over a parcel of land in contention between two families.

When the victims were rushed to the Wa Municipal Hospital around 1pm on Thursday, one of them, a retired lecturer of the Hilla Limann Technical University, Stephen Mane was pronounced dead on arrival.

Then in the early hours of Friday, another victim Alhassan who was on admission also died from the wounds he sustained the previous day.