9 Soldiers Raid NPP office, Ring Leader Confesses

Bismark Osei Danso (red shirt), the ring leader and Rakia Ali Mohammed with other suspects at the court yesterday

The ringleader of the suspected soldiers who invaded the New Patriotic Party (NPP) office in the early hours of Monday, Bismark Osei Danso, has told the police that he recruited eight other soldiers for the operation.

According to Osei Danso popularly called assemblyman, he mobilised eight retired soldiers resident at Kakasunanka near Michelle Camp and Tema, made them dress in military uniforms and took them to the NPP headquarters.

As to where they got the military uniforms for the criminal act and who contracted them, he’s yet to tell the police; but an Accra Circuit Court has granted him bail.

Bismarck Osei Danso, 58, who claims to be a contractor/ex-soldier, was among eleven persons hauled before the court yesterday for allegedly raiding and ransacking the offices of the NPP.

The suspects, who included one woman, were charged for  unlawful entry, unlawful purpose on private premises and causing unlawful damage to the tune of GH¢28,000.

Others are Ali Iddris, 24, unemployed, Razak Ebenezer Aduful, Abdul Wudu, Kwame Adu Annan, Nii Teiko Ayi-Bontey and Michael Agoha.

The rest are Shamzi Dinni, Obed Yawson, Rakia Ali Mohammed (the woman) and Ben Okyere.

Danso claimed he was a former assembly member for Odorkor Otitan who was peeved about the development in the party and therefore mobilised soldiers in uniform with military vehicles and with police protection to invade the NPP headquarters.

There are strong suspicions that the clandestine operation was instigated by the National Security with the support of some disgruntled members of the NPP, including the suspended National Chairman, Paul Afoko.

According to a Joy Fm source, Paul Afoko was neck deep in the vandalisation that took place at the party offices as well as the removal of computer hard disks.

Charges
According to the prosecutor, DSP Abraham Annor, the accused persons on Monday, November 23, 2015, between the hours of 1:30 and 2:30 am at Asylum Down and Kokomlemle respectively, unlawfully entered the premises of the NPP with intent to commit crime.

The accused persons are facing other charges of being at the party’s premises for unlawful purposes and causing damage.

They are said to have damaged 14 wooden doors worth GH¢28,000.

Speaking in various Ghanaian languages, the accused persons denied the offences and were each admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢10,000 with two sureties.

They are also to execute a bail bond to be of good behaviour or in default serve three months in jail.

Arguments
This was after Abdul Aziz Mohammed, counsel for the accused persons, had urged the court presided over by Abena Oppong Adjin-Doku to grant the accused bail.

He said the accused persons had denied the offences and that they were young members of the party who were not so enthused about the internal wrangling within.

Mohammed stated that the accused persons were part of over 450 persons who were angry about the wrangling in the NPP.

According to the lawyer, the NPP ought to be interested in solving the internal squabbles among the top hierarchy of the party and not the arrest of his clients.

Kwaku Boadu, holding brief for the party, said the case was one of public interest.

He noted that the fact that the accused persons had denied the charges did not mean they were not guilty.

Opposition
Mr Boadu was of the opinion that the court ought to dismiss the request for bail by the defence counsel.

DSP Annor had earlier told the court to remand the accused persons, especially Danso, for the police to further conduct investigations into the case.

But Justice Oppong Adjin-Doku granted the accused persons bail and adjourned sitting until December 8, 2015.

The prosecution said the police were informed that some soldiers had invaded the NPP headquarters and were causing damage to property.

DSP Annor said when the police went to the scene, Danso and 10 others in red T-shirts with the inscription, ‘United Patriots,’ were arrested.

He claimed that Danso explained that the soldiers had information that the Invisible Forces at the NPP headquarters had weapons on them and that they needed to disarm them before they organised a peace meeting between the executives of the party and the suspended national chairman at the party headquarters at those ungodly hours.

Hostage
The prosecutor stated that in addition, Danso mobilised 480 supporters from all the 10 regions to come to the party headquarters to support them since they would organise a press conference, adding that when the retired soldiers got to the place they took the security men hostage and locked them up in the security room.

The court further heard that the soldiers entered the premises when nobody was in the NPP offices, brought a fertilizer sack containing three loaded SMG guns with 36 live ammunitions and three machetes and informed one Moro Sulemana, the security man at the place, that he was the owner of the arms since he was a member of the Invisible Forces.

DSP Annor said moments later, three buses loaded with some youth in red T-shirts arrived at the headquarters and were allowed in and then started vandalising the structures at the place.

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By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson 


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