Four land guards, including a machine operator, have been arrested by the Okyeman Land Protection Force at Okanta on the Suhum-Nsawam highway. The task force was supported by the Ghana Police Service and some residents of the community.
The four suspects, alleged to be working for KOANS Building Solution, were in the company of some others with offensive weapons.
The suspects are Samuel Desese, 38 years, Oboobi Godwin, 45 years, Kwaku Eric, 32 years, and Nifa Cann, 25 years. They are currently undergoing investigation at the Kyebi Divisional Police Headquarters.
Reports say the land quards, who were seen clearing a parcel of land at Okanta, later became confrontational with the community members.
Okyeman Akwansrahene and leader of the protection force, Baffour Asiedu Bekoe, who led the arrest, disclosed to journalists that some community members of Okanta called him to complain about the invasion of the town by people suspected to be land guards.
They were said to be working on a parcel of land belonging to Okyeman.
According to Baffour Aseidu Bekoe, he mobilised his team and informed the police about the activities of the land guards and with the support of the community members, went in to effect the arrest.
He further disclosed that some of the land guards threatened to ‘deal with them’, but force was able to overpower them and arrested the four.
Meanwhile, others, who were part of the armed land guards, fled into the bush. The chief said the Vigilante and Related Offence Act 2019, Act 999 empowers persons to prevent the commissioning of an offence within their neighborhood.
“So they acted under the guidance of the law to prevent the offence of trespassing and stealing of Okyeman’s stool land,” he told the media.
He posited that Section 3 of Act 999 prohibits the formation, organisation and operations of vigilante groups and activities.
According to him, the law states in subsection 2 that whoever indulges in vigilante activities commits an offence and is liable to a term of imprisonment not less than 10 years.
He added that Section 4 and 5 of Act 999 also spells out punishment for people who aid and abet vigilante activities through funding and facilitation.
To this end, he called on the Ghana Police Service to investigate the CEO of KOANS Building solutions for aiding and abetting vigilante activities, contrary to Act 999.
Baffour Bekoe assured that Nananoom would keenly follow how the Police will handle the investigation.