Sixteen persons accused of encroaching on a parcel of land belonging the Bulgarian Consulate in Accra, have appeared before an Accra Circuit Court.
The accused have been charged with abetment to trespass and causing unlawful damage.
They all pleaded not guilty and have been admitted to bail in the sum of GHC50, 000 each, with two sureties each.
The court presided over by Mrs. Susana Eduful ordered that one of the sureties must be a public servant earning not less than GHC2,000.
They are to reappear on September 15.The accused included: Francis Eshun, Awudu Issaka, Hagan John Ekow Sabato, Yusif Issah, Martin Nartey, Kwadwo Atta Dominic and Kwabena Mensah.
The rest are Abdul Razak Mohammed, Joseph Kwame Boye, Malik Musah, Samuel Quarshie Avoryi, Godfred Owusu, Korely Martei, Samuel Asante, Nasiri Zakariah and Stephen Wegah.
Pastor Jamel Amoako, who allegedly led the accused to the said parcel of land is said to be at large.
The Prosecution led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare, said the complainant is Mr Samuel Kumah, Chief Protocol Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
ASP Asare said the accused are all machine operators’ and artisans who were engaged by Pastor Amoako one of the accused currently at large.
The prosecution said on August 15 this year, the complainant reported to the Police National Operation Directorate (NOD) that Bulgarian Consulate land on Plot 10, Cantonments been encroached upon by unknown persons.
He said on receipt of the information the Police dispatched a patrol team to the scene and arrested 16 of the accused who were found on the land with an excavator and five tipper trucks and a chainsaw machine.
Prosecution said the accused were sent to the Cantonments Police Station and later transferred to CID headquarters where cautioned statements was taken from them.
Prosecution said Francis Eshun who identified himself as the leader of the accused informed the Police that he operates an Equipment Rental Company located at Dworwulu and that about a month ago, Pastor Amoako contracted him to clear weeds and debris on his parcel of land at Cantonment.
Prosecution said Eshun further said that, he sent an operator with a backbone machine but the operator was stopped by the Police at Cantonments.
ASP Asare said Eshun said he and Pastor Amoako were invited to the Cantonment Police District headquarters where they were informed that the Bulgarian embassy had lodged a complainant claiming ownership of the property.
He said on August 14, this year, Eshun said Pastor Amoako informed him that Police investigations on the parcel of land went in his favour and as such he and the accused should resume work.
He said based on that Eshun on August 15, this year, mobilized the accused and some equipment to the site and commenced evacuating the debris but they were arrested and their equipment impounded.