Within two weeks, two New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidates in the Brong Ahafo Region, together with some of their followers, have been arrested by the police in bizarre circumstances.
The latest arrest involves the NPP parliamentary candidate for Tain, Joseph Ofori Amanfo, who was arrested on Saturday with five of his constituency executives over their alleged involvement in registration-related violence.
The five are Charles Mba, constituency secretary; Andrews Oppong, organiser; Ibrahim Dauda Bamba, youth organiser; Amina Adams, treasurer and George Kwarteng, a driver.
Amina Adams, a hypertension patient, was reportedly granted a self-recognizance bail yesterday morning after she collapsed in the cells on Sunday. She was subsequently rushed to the Brong Ahafo Regional Hospital in Sunyani, where she was admitted overnight under police guard.
Their arrest has left tongues wagging as residents claimed that the candidate and his party officials were not at the scene of the said violence, therefore their arrest and detention were unjustifiable.
DAILY GUIDE’s checks at Nsawkaw, the district capital, where the NPP parliamentary candidate hails from, indicated that there was tension in the area following the arrest of their kinsman.
Residents are pointing accusing fingers at the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia aka General Mosquito, who hails from the district, for conniving with the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Tain, Jones Samuel Tawiah and some senior police officers in the region for causing the arrest of the NPP candidate.
According to the Tain residents, Mr Asiedu Nketia’s mere presence in the area over the weekend sparked confusion in the hitherto peaceful registration centres in the district.
They claimed that Mr. Asiedu Nketia was spotted in a convoy last Saturday with the Regional Police Commander, the Regional Crime Officer, the Regional Minister and the Council of State member, Cecilia Johnson, in some parts of the region.
Freda Prempeh, the NPP parliamentary candidate for Tano North, was also recently arrested under strange circumstances on March 29, when she had gone to the Duayaw Nkwanta Police Station to bail two party officials who had been picked up by the police for also attempting to secure a bail for a party activist.
Freda Prempeh was however granted a self-recognizance bail.
The Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Crime Officer, ASP Saviour Ahiamadi, who confirmed the latest arrest at Tain to DAILY GUIDE, said the suspects were registering minors at Banda Sabie and when the complainant protested, one of the suspects who escaped arrest stabbed the complainant on the neck and other parts of the body.
He said the parliamentary candidate and the five others had since been detained at different police cells at Yamfo, Abesim, Duayaw Nkwanta and Sunyani, assisting in police investigations.
He mentioned that the six suspects are likely to be arraigned today.
According to him, the complainant, who sustained multiple injuries, had also been treated and discharged.
Meanwhile, the Brong Ahafo Regional officials of the NPP have expressed disgust about the arrest and detention of the parliamentary candidate and constituency executives.
The party said the arrest was unwarranted and a ploy by the officials of the NDC to intimidate, harass and intimidate its members, thereby preventing them from registering.
The regional chairman, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh and his secretary, Alfred Ofori Annye, told DAILY GUIDE that all detainees were innocent.
Mr. Asomah-Cheremeh said he had the opportunity to speak to the parliamentary candidate in the police cells and he denied being at the scene of the alleged incident.
Mr. Annye also explained that their candidate and his team of party executives were monitoring other parts of the constituency and when they heard of the said violence at the Banda Sabie, they rushed to the area to ensure sanity for the registration to move on smoothly.
He said on their way to the scene, they met a pick-up which signaled their candidate’s vehicle to stop.
Just as their candidate had slowed down to stop, they realised that the occupants of the pick-up were wielding guns so he asked his driver to speed off.
According to the NPP secretary, the candidate decided to head to Wenchi, which was close to them, to lodge a complaint with the police about the gun-wielding persons.
On the way, they met the Wenchi Police Commander’s vehicle and he stopped the commander to narrate the incident to him.
However, the commander said he was looking for the candidate to arrest him because a gentleman had come to lodge a complaint with him that somebody in his car had stabbed him.
The candidate was asked to join the police vehicle to Wenchi where his statement was taken.
Mr. Annye said just as the police commander had finished with the documentations to grant bail to the candidate and the five others, the commander told the national organiser of the NPP, Moctar Bamba and other NPP officials there that an order had come from above that he should bring the suspects to Sunyani, where they had been kept in separate police cells till date.
FROM Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Sunyani