The Sunyani District Court has refused a bail application by eight persons over a clash at Nkrankwanta in the Bono region.
They are persons suspected to have links to a clash between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters during the voters’ registration mop-up exercise in the area.
The violence resulted in the death of one person while two others were injured.
The court, presided over by Fred Obikyere, remanded the eight accused persons and referred the case to the Wamfie District Court in the Dormaa East District to continue with the hearing because it is nearer to the crime scene.
The accused, who appeared before the court yesterday, were Ali Musah, alias Buge; Lonfintey Sansah, Mohammed Osman, alias Mba; Kwasi Sam, Oppong Johnson, Abubakar Sulemana, Fuseini Mohammed and Musah Sule.
Apart from suspect Musah, who was charged with an attempt to commit murder causing unlawful damage, the rest were charged with causing unlawful damage.
Remanding the accused, Mr Obikyere said he carefully noted the plea of lawyers of the accused to grant them bail but was minded to remand them because he had no jurisdiction to grant them bail and also to enable the police to complete investigations.
He said it would be appropriate for the accused persons to be tried at the Wamfie District which is closer to Nkrankwanta where the unfortunate incident happened on August 8, 2020.
Presenting the facts of the case, the prosecutor, Superintendent of Police Joseph Apaloo, told the court that on Saturday, August 8, 2020, the accused persons, who claimed to be supporters of the NPP and NDC, massed up during the mop-up registration exercise.
He said, while the accused persons and others who belonged to their respective political parties were there at about 5:30p.m, suspect Musah, who claimed to be an NPP supporter, alleged that an NDC supporter had assaulted one of their supporters.
Mr Apaloo said suspect Musah and his colleagues, therefore, confronted the NDC supporters on the alleged assault, explaining that in the course of that, a fight ensued between the two parties.
He said some of them were carrying offensive weapons such as pistols, machetes, catapults, sticks and other weapons amid indiscriminate firing of guns.
Mr Apaloo explained that the police and military men, who were deployed to ensure law and order at the area, moved in but the fight got intense and that compelled them to also fire some warning shots to disperse the combatants.
According to him, in the course of the fight, three persons, namely Kofi Robert, alias Labet; Gabriel Elliasu and Kwame Guntan sustained various gunshot injuries, while a Mitsubishi Pick-Up with registration number GE 85-18 and a Hajoe motorbike were burnt.
Mr Apaloo said victims Elliasu and Guntan were rushed to the Nkrankwanta District Hospital for treatment while Robert, who was carried in an ambulance was sent to the Dormaa Presbyterian Hospital for treatment but he was pronounced dead on arrival.
He explained that Guntan, who was in a critical condition, was referred to the Sunyani Regional Hospital where he mentioned suspect Musah as the person who shot him.
He said the rest of the accused were also alleged to have burnt the vehicle and the motorbike as well as some property belonging to the NPP in the area.
Mr Apaloo said investigations were still ongoing, adding that all the accused persons would be remanded in custody to assist in the investigations.