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Twenty-three persons including Bishop Hansel Adjei-Frimpong of the Word Miracle Church International who were arrested for allegedly causing a riot, leading to the murder of two persons at Avenor, a suburb of Accra, have been arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court.

Bishop Adjei-Frimpong, said to have engaged the suspected rampaging landguards that caused commotion at Avenor, was granted bail by the court while the other 22 suspects were remanded in police custody by the presiding Judge, C.A. Wilson, to assist the police in further investigations.

The suspects are facing three charges of abetment of rioting, rioting with weapons and murder. Their pleas were not taken and they would re-appear in court on November 27, 2009. The dispute over the rightful ownership of the land at Avenor led to bloodshed between the suspected landguards allegedly transferred to the site by the Word Miracle Church, presided over by Bishop Charles Agyin-Asare, leading to the death of two persons including one of the landguards whose hand was chopped off.

Capt (rtd) Kwame Nkrabea Effah-Dartey represented Bishop Adjei-Frimpong, while Kenneth Manoo was counsel for Emmanuel Teye alias Armah, Kobina Edofoh, David Nii Sarpei, Ben Aboagye, Fred Aseidu, Joseph Osei Mensah, Nii Asare Kofi, Eric Boadi, Anum Quartey, Nii Ayikoi Okoi, Nii Kpakpo Allotey, Theophilus Larbi, Benjamin Akrasi, Asumenka Awindongo, Sammy Ezana, Alidu Nyo and Azuah Mark.

The other accused persons, Naa Simon Sizu and Bongo Sheik were represented by Kapunde and Daniel Yande respectively. Bishop Hansel Adjei-Frimpong was granted bail in the sum of GH˘10,000 with one surety. The prosecuting officer, Superintendent A. Boye, narrating the facts to the court, said the complainants in this case are policemen stationed at the Regional Police Headquarters in Accra.

According to the prosecution, the Kwame Nkrumah Circle branch of the Word Miracle Church in Accra acquired a piece of land lying and situated at Avenor, from Lawyer Lartey and family at a cost of GH˘400,000 in 2007, after an Accra High Court had given judgement in favour of Lawyer Lartey’s family.

In view of this, he said, the church secured all the necessary documents covering the piece of land. Briefing the court, he said that on November 5, 2009, the Police from Accra and Court bailiffs, with an order of writ of possession for recovery of the piece of land, went to Avenor to evict squatters on the land, but the squatters resisted the action.

Supt Boye stated that on November 12, 2009, the police and court bailiffs, together with Emmanuel Teye, Kobina Edofoh, David Nii Sarpei, Ben Aboagye, Fred Aseidu, Joseph Osei Mensah, Nii Asare Kofi, Eric Boadi, Anum Quartey, Nii Ayikoi Okoi, Nii Kpakpo Allotey, Theophilius Larbi, Benjamin Akrasi and Asumenka Awindongo, engaged by Bishop Hansel Adjei-Frimpong from World Miracle Church, went to the land armed with guns, cutlasses and daggers with the intension of digging a fence wall foundation to enable the church to fence the land for protection.

He told the court that immediately they arrived at the site, the aggrieved squatters including Sammy Ezana, Alidu Nyo, Azuah Mark, Naa Simon Sizu and Azuah Mark, who were also armed with guns, cutlasses and sticks, engaged them in a fight, resulting in a 207 Mercedes Benz bus with registration number GT 4034 W brought by the church, being set ablaze.

The prosecutor said 35-year-old Wizzy Kofi from the Word Miracle group was shot and killed and other persons who sustained gunshot wounds were rushed to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for treatment and discharged the same day.

Fortunately, the prosecutor added, 24 suspects comprising 15 from the Word Miracle Church and nine from the squatters’ side, were arrested by the police at the scene.

The prosecutor added that a search conducted by the police in a Nissan 4x4 Pathfinder which was occupied by Nii Asare Kofi, Emmanuel Teye, Kwabena Adufo and Theophilius Larbi, revealed one pump action gun, 29 AA live cartridges, eight cutlasses, two knives, some mobile phones and 11 empty AA cartridges shells, which were retrieved from the scene. Subsequently, the suspects were provisionally charged with the offences to assist in further investigations.
Source: D Guide

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