The Koforidua Circuit Court ‘A’ presided over by Her Honour Janet Animah Marfo has convicted the Queenmother of Akyem Akooko and 18 others to various fines totalling Ghc60,000 over their involvement in a deadly attack on Nana Saka Tsugbetor’s shrine at Akyem Akooko in 2015 after accusing him of ritual murder.
The convicts are, Nana Afia Afrah Korantemaa II-Queenmother, Nana Yaw Okyere -Dwantuahene, Ofosu Adjei, Kwasi Botchway-Abusuapanyin, Eunice Asante, Sumaila Seidu,Opare Isaac and Seth Twum Ampofo, a Forest guard.
The rest are Kwaku Amoako,Francis Yeboah,Solomon Kwabena Owusu Yeboah, Haruna Issah, Gyakye Kingsley, Kwabena Boateng, Otu Bright, Foster Nyarko, Kwaku Boateng, Adufu Fred and Yeboah Alex.
The convicts were found guilty of all six counts which are provocation of riot, Abetment of rioting with weapons, unlwaful Assembly, Forceful entry, Riot and Riot with weapons.
Only two of the convicts, the Queenmother, and the Dwantuahene Nana Afia Afrah Korantemaa II and, Nana Yaw Okyere respectively were convicted to a fine of Ghc6, 000 each in default serve 24 months each on the first count of provocation of riot.
They were also convicted in other counts apart from count five and six which were rioting and rioting with weapons.
The convicts were fined ghc3, 600 each in default serve four months on charges of Abetment of rioting with weapons, while on count three, the convicts were fined Ghc1,800 each in default serve Prison term of 8months.
On the fourth and fifth Counts -unlawful assembly and forcible entry – the convicts were fined Ghc1, 800 each but in default serve 8 months in prison.
The convicts were also fined Ghc3000 each but in default serve a jail term of 12 months. All sentences are to run concurrently.
The Court also ordered the convicts to pay Ghc6, 000 compensation to the complainant.
The facts of the matter presented by by the Prosecutor, Cyril Boateng Keteku an Assistant State Attorney are that on September 21 2015, Nana Afia Korantemaa, the Abusua Panyin, Mr Yaw Okyere and other accused accomplices instigated the youth of Akyem-Akooko to attack the fetish priest, Nana Saka Tsugbetor who was celebrating his Zoyiyi festival at his shrine in the Akyem Akooko community for disrespecting the traditional Council for not attending to a summon by the council over his festival which their permission was not sought and his refusal to pay a fine of two cows, two cartons of Schnapp and cash of Ghc20,000 to the Council for insubordination.
On 29/9/2015 at about 9am the three traditional leaders with some other elders of the village mobilized the youth of the town including the convicts who wore red arm band, sticks, clubs, machetes, guns, and other implements amid chanting of war songs and violently invaded the shrine despite Police resistance.
They pelted Police with stones and shot at the Police operation Vehicle which led to the gunshot injury of Corporal Reuben Asomani, Lance Corporal Amo Beko and Constable Richard Nkrumah
The irate youth including the convicts attacked followers of the fetish priest, lynched one who died later and set ablaze his Ghc450, 000 house, set fire into his Toyota V8 with registration Number AS 8199-14 valued Ghc180,000, One Infinity Four Wheel Drive with registration number GS 8163-13 valued at Ghc150,000, a golf Saloon Car and a Nissan Infinity with registration number GG 1818-15 value Ghc25,000.
It took the intervention of the joint Police Reinforcement teams from Kibi, Koforidua to bring the situation to control while Fire Service Personnel who were initially attacked returned to extinguish the fire at the shrine.
Kwame Issahaka Koho, 39, a follower of the fetish Priest and Benjamin Amo, 22, died during the violence while many others who sustained life threatening injuries were treated and discharged at the hospital.
Video footage intercepted identified the culprits some of whom were arrested while others fled the community.
Reaction on the Judgement
The Fetish Priest Nana Saka though unhappy about the Judgment said he is, however, glad that the truth has been revealed and justice served.
He said there are other legal actions being taken to get damages for the properties lost during the violence.