An Accra Circuit Court has remanded into police custody six persons accused of land guard activities.
They are Musah Umar, a resident of La-Norkotso Shishi, Beugubemi Issah, Umar Farouk, Mohammed Bello, Abdul Hamidu Musah, Iddrisu Issah and Yahaya Ahmed.
The Court remanded all into police custody but Ahmed who is Hypersensitive. He was granted a GHS50,000.00 bail with two sureties.
The seven pleaded not guilty to charges: conspiracy, prohibition of activities, causing unlawful damage and stealing. They will make their next appearance on May 30, 2023.
Meanwhile, their accomplices: Clifford Azametsi and Alfred Botwe are on the run.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Maxwell Oppong told the Court that Complainant Gulati Kumar Lalit was an Indian and resident of Dzorwulu, Accra.
Umar lived at resident of La-Norkotso Shishi, Beugubemi, Farouk and Bello were residents of Accra New Town as Musah and Iddrisu resided at Kokomlemle, Ahmed, resident of Nima whereas Azametsi and Botwe were at large, he said.
ASP Oppong said in 2001, the complainant acquired a parcel of land from Nana Osei Boansi Kuffour and his wife. He developed the land by constructing a fence wall.
He said the complainant placed a 20-footer container on the land and had been in possession since then without any hindrance, stressing that within April 2023, the accused persons armed with various offensive weapons unlawfully entered the land.
They chased the complainant’s caretaker away, thereby denying the complainant access to the land and on May 09, 2023, the complainant reported the case to the Police, the Court heard.
ASP Oppong said on May 14,2023, the complainant hinted to the Police that he had information that, the accused persons were cutting his 20-footer container on the land into scraps.
Prosecution said upon receipt of the information, Police moved to the scene and arrested Beugubemi, Farouk, Bello, Musah, Iddrisu and Ahmed together with the pieces of the complainant’s container, loaded in a Kia Truck with registration Number. GC 41 12-09 which was driven by Ahmed.
During interrogation, Musah mentioned Umar as an accomplice. He led Police to a place at La where Ahmed was arrested and Ahmed also mentioned Zameti as the leader of the gang.
On the same day at about 1500 hours, Police laid ambush at the site when Zameti arrived in an Army green Mahindra pickup with registration number GE 1595-12.
He said Zameti, who armed himself with a pistol, managed and drove off in a very dangerous manner upon seeing the Police. He was given a hot chase but upon reaching a section of the road around Osu, he abandoned the vehicle in the middle of the road and fled on foot.
ASP Oppong said the abandoned vehicle was towed to the station for further investigation which revealed that Botwe was the person who recruited the land guards to disturb landowners within the Metropolis.
He said the accused persons were charged with the offences and put before court as the case was under investigation.
Mr Faustinus Yiriladuo, defense counsel for Farouk, Bello, Musah, Issah and Ahmed, praying for bail, said Begubeme, a scrap dealer, informed his clients about the scrap in question and when they were cutting it, they were ambushed by the Police who branded them as Land guards.
He said land guards were well built and fearful individuals, saying his clients did not look like them.
Mr Yiriladuo said Begubeme had two wives and one had given birth not long ago.
Ahmed, he said was 72 years and was Hypertensive, adding that his clients did not know those on the run.
His clients, he said, were not flight risk and would make themselves available to the Court when granted bail.
ASP Oppong, opposing the bail, said Landguardism was about numbers and not physique and their act described the offence they committed.
He said the accused persons were dangerous and their behaviour should not be tolerated.
The Police have not completed their investigation, they did not have fixed places of abode and that it was Ahmed who led police to get the others when he was arrested, the Court heard.
The Prosecution said the Police needed them to get to Zamati and Botwe.