Twelve teachers before court for causing damages to properties

Fiapre (Brong Ahafo) Oct. 14, GNA – Twelve teachers including two females were on Thursday arraigned before a circuit court at Fiapre near Sunyani for rioting and causing unlawful damage to a Police Station and other properties worth millions of Ghana cedis at Drobo in the Jaman South District of the Brong Ahafo Region.

The accused are Gyan Bosomtwe, Ernest Oppong, Paul Owusu, Andrews Sie, Kennedy Kyeremeh, Thaddaeus Oppong, Sule Koda, Alice Asumea, Collins Ofori, Yakubu Tagan, Emmanuel Darko and Augustina Asantewaa.
They pleaded not guilty to five counts of rioting and causing damage and were granted bail of GHc10, 000 each with a surety to re-appear  on November 10, 2011.

Counsel for the accused, Lawyer Antwi Adjei pleaded for the bail, saying the school where the accused were teaching had been closed down as a result of the teachers’ absence and keeping them in custody meant the school would continue to be closed down.
Mr. Joseph Kwasi Crentsil, Drobo District Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) also appealed to the court for bail for the sake of the school children.

Prosecuting, Police Superintendent Frederick Adjei told the court presided by Mr. Owusu Gyamfi that the complainants in the case are Police personnel at Drobo, Information Services Department (ISD), Drobo Community Rural Bank and Drobo District Magistrate’s Court whilst the accused are all teachers of Drobo Basic and Junior High School (JHS).
He said on February 16, this year at about 1100 hours, Emmanuel Kyeremeh, a teacher, was arrested by the Police at Drobo and detained at the Police station for investigations.
When news of his arrest got to his colleagues, the accused became displeased with the Police’s action so organised pupils of the school and led them on a demonstration through the streets of Drobo and ended at the Police station.

Supt. Adjei said the demonstrators, armed with stones attacked Police personnel at the Station and in the process damaged the windscreens of a Tico taxi car parked at the station with registration number BA 4720 worth GHc 400.00. Another windcreen and bonnet of van estimated at GHc 370 belonging the Information Services Department were also damaged.

The louvre blades, roofing sheets, standing pipe and plywood of a magistrate court building adjacent to the station, all estimated at GHc645.00, were also destroyed, he added.
Supt Adjei said the accused also led the children to damage glass windows of the community rural bank, also estimated at  GHc162.50.

He said Police investigations after the incident revealed that the accused took part in the riot.
The docket was sent to the Attorney General’s Department in Sunyani for advice and based on the advice, the 12 accused were brought before the court.

The circuit court at Fiapre witnessed a heavy Police presence, as well as a number of teachers from Drobo to sympathize with their colleagues.

The quiet and serene atmosphere at the vicinity of the court turned into a joyous mood as colleague teachers started to jubilate when the judge granted the accused bail.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Robert Ayalingo, Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Commander, later in an interview with Ghana News Agency, advised teachers to be role models to school children and not to incite them to attack law enforcing officers in the course of duty.
“If teachers, who are supposed to be role models are teaching children at this tender age to attack, then the country has no future,” he said.

A Police statement indicated that on February 15th  this year, Emmanuel Kyeremeh, a teacher at Drobo District Assembly Junior High School arrested a nine year old boy with a bicycle and reported that the boy had stolen the bicycle from him and had caused damage to it.
The statement said there were bruises on the boy, which suggested that he was beaten on his arrest.

Since the child was considered a minor, Kyeremeh was advised by a Policewoman Constable Victoria Domson on duty at the charge office to send the boy to his parents and resolve the issue with them.

The Police statement said on the same day at about 1730 hours when the Policewoman had closed from duty and was going home, she was confronted by Kyeremeh and a friend, Bright Obeng for refusing to accept his complaint at teh Police Station.
It said they verbally assulted Constable Domson and followed her to the house where Kyeremeh threatened to kill her.

The statement said Constable Domson lodged a complaint against Kyeremeh and Obeng and on February 16 Kyeremeh was arrested and detained to assist in investigations.
It said the arrest and detention of Kyeremeh did not go down well with his 12 colleague teachers, who organised the school children from the school and other basic schools at Drobo, hence their demonstration.

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