An Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Samuel Bright Acquah, has slapped an estate developer, James Okine, and three others with a total bail sum of GH¢250,000 and eight sureties.
James Okine’s bail bond was GH¢100,000, with two sureties who are public servants, earning not less than GH¢2,000 monthly.
The other accused persons – Abubakar Issah, unemployed, Kamach Yeboah, Caterpillar operator, and Ali Amadu, Caterpillar operator – were given bail in the sum of GH¢50,000 with two sureties each.
They were arraigned on the charges of conspiracy to commit a crime and unlawful protection of land. They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
However, the plea of James, the first accused (A1), was taken yesterday, since he could not attend court on the first day the case was called on January 6, 2023.
Mr. Acquah, who was informed that first accused was under the weather, and before remanding the other accused persons into police custody, ordered that James be brought before the court on the next adjourned date, which was yesterday.
The court has adjourned the next hearing to February 6, 2023.
The court was informed by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Maxwell Oppong who said the complainant was Godrich Ardey, a businessman who resides at Katamanso in the jurisdiction of the court.
He added that James Okine, Abubakar Issah, Kamack Yeboah, and Ali Amadu were residents of Zenu-Ashaiman, Teiman and Oyibi respectively.
ASP Oppong told the court that two other people, Stephen Okutu Kofi alias Kofi Santos, and Benjamin Djanker aka Asaa, who should be standing trial with the accused persons, were at large.
According to the prosecuting officer, on January 3, 2023, the complainant reported to the police that his family owned 1.625.474 acres of land at Katamanso with a land title certificate covering the said land.
In addition to the land title certificate, the complainant also had a Power of Attorney from his family to back his claims.
To verify the documents submitted by the accused, he said the police investigation revealed that the complainant’s family has had the said land in possession for several decades.
However, the court was informed that the complainant’s family had also leased portions of the land to some estate companies, who had built estate houses on it without any challenges.
Meanwhile, the police were informed that the first accused, who also is the owner of Greenlake Estate, had recruited land guards onto their family land, who protect him and his workers, while they were unlawfully grading the land to commence development.
The prosecutor told the court that on January 5, 2023, the police visited the scene with the complainant and found Kamack and Amadu using a bulldozer machine to grade the complainant’s family land under the protection of Issah, Okutu and Benjamin.
He stated that Kamack and Amadu were arrested, and during investigation, Okine followed up and was also arrested for investigation.
On the account of this they were charged and put before court. Furthermore, efforts were being made to arrest the two other accused persons.
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