An Accra Circuit Court has remanded 19 persons into prison custody for their involvement in the James Town Chieftaincy riots during the weekend.
The accused persons are said to have taken part in vigilante activities on January 15, this year at Ngleshie Alata Palace otherwise known as Mantse Agbonaa.
The 19 persons are: Solomon Adjei Ayer, William Baah, Yaw Takyi, Musah Mutala, Promise Lamptey, Emmanuel Kofi Amponsah Afari, Benjamin Stephens, Acquah Marvin, Banabas Akwesi, Davis Williams, Agyekum Williams, Yakubu Anthony, Osmanu Fuseini, Emmanuel Akron, Fred Addae, Shadrack Tetteh, Ernest Mills, Logosu John and Samuel Agboyi.
The accused persons have been charged with prohibition of vigilante groups and activities, rioting with weapons, and causing unlawful damage.
The 19 accused persons have pleaded not guilty.
Nii Dodoo and Nii Kofi Amponsah who are said to be 90 and 72 years respectively, were admitted to bail in the sum of GHS50,000 each with two sureties each.
The Court presided over by Mr Samuel Bright Acquah held that he granted the accused persons bail because of their ages.
It, however, issued bench warrant for the arrest of Prince Ashiaku Bruce Quaye and Dr Albert Botchway, said to be at large.
Defence counsel for Prince Ashiaku Bruce Quaye prayed the Court to rescind the bench warrant against his client.
Counsel informed the Court that his client is a Chief and that he would produce him when given the chance.
Other lawyers took turns to pray for bail for the rest of the accused person, saying those before the Court where nowhere near the scene.
According to the lawyers, the accused persons had fixed place of abode and they had people of substance to stand as sureties when granted bail.
The Court then rescinded the bench warrant against Prince Ashiaku Bruce Quaye and asked the lawyer to produce him on January 17.
Prosecution led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Maxwell Oppong vehemently opposed the grant of bail, saying the accused persons when granted bail would interfere with investigations.
“We vehemently object to the grant of bail to the accused persons. Accused persons do not have fixed places of abode.”
The Prosecution said due to the activities of the accused persons, people had to run for their lives and urged the Court to consider the security of the nation before admitting them to bail.
Narrating the facts of the case, the Prosecution said there had been protracted chieftaincy disputes between Nii Ahumah Kojo Prince Ashiaku Bruce Quaye, a self-styled chief at the Jamestown Ngleshie paramountcy.
It said on January 15, 2023, Prince Ashiaku Bruce Quaye claimed he had a judgement from the Court, granting him access to the palace and by that he contracted one Dr Albert Botchway to organise thugs for him to take over the Ngleshie Alata Palace at James Town aka Mantse Agbona.
The Prosecution indicated that the said Dr. Botchway now on the run, recruited the accused persons and armed them with guns and cutlasses.
On January 15, 2023, at about 1000hours, the accused persons cladded in white T-shirt with the picture of Prince Ashiaku Bruce Quaye embossed on it and military styled trousers, invaded the Ngleshie Alata Community at James Town and without any reason.
It said accused persons unlawfully entered the drinking spots of Benedicta Dadzie and Harrison Odametey, took bottles containing alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and began throwing them on the streets and at the occupants of the palace.
The Prosecution said the accused persons as if that was not enough, burnt two Royale motorbikes belonging to one Oko and Atta, all witnesses in the case.
It said the accused persons also burnt a Toyota Corolla vehicle with registration number BA 88-22, owner yet to be identified.
The prosecution said the Police were immediately called in and calm was restored to the palace.
In the process, the prosecution said the accused persons were arrested.
When Nii Dodoo, one of the accused persons was searched, a long knife was found on him, and the Police also retrieved a matchet at the scene.
It said on the same day, Shadarack Tetteh and Fred Addae, two of the accused persons on board KIA Morning vehicle with DV number 7965 E, were intercepted at the Korle Police Check Point as persons who managed to escape from the scene, and they were seen at the James Town Ngleshie Palace after the rioting.
The prosecution said Tetteh and Addai were arrested.
When Addae was searched, a pump action gun, 11 live cartridges and one empty ammunition were found on him.
Prosecution said efforts were underway to arrest Prince Ashiaku Bruce Quaye and Dr Alberta Botchway to assist in investigations.