On State Housing Workers
From Samuel MensahTorbizo
A trigger-happy chief, Nana Kwasi Amoateng is facing criminal trial at a Kumasi Circuit Court for pulling a two double bar pump action gun, threatening to kill some workers of the State Housing Company (SHC).
The chief, last month clocked his pump action gun and threatened to blow off the heads of some state workers. He has admitted to the Kumasi court that he indeed, pulled a gun, but did so under the influence of alcohol.
Nana Amoateng, who is the chief of Kegyase near Abuakwa, who is also the Sefiesohene to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is now facing two other counts of holding a gun without a valid license and also driving under the influence of alcohol.
Presenting the facts of the case to the court presided over by his Lordship, Emmanuel Amo Yartey, a police prosecutor, Inspector Sylvanus Dalmeida said, the chief has been in the habit of terrorizing state housing workers for some time now.
According to the prosecutor, on August 19, while some workers of the company were working on portions of a 107-acre land legally acquired by the SHC, Nana Amoateng stormed the site and threaten them.
Not satisfied with the verbal threat, Nana Amoateng on August 23, again went to the site to carry out his usual threat, while the company’s Assistant Engineer, Quantity Surveyor and other workers were carrying their legitimate duties, and questioned them under whose authority they were executing the project.
Without any provocation from the workers, the chief rushed and fetched a pump action double bar gun from the booth of his Mercedes Benz with registration number GT1605T and clocked it in readiness to shoot the workers.
The prosecutor said, the workers were courageous and phoned the Regional Police Commander who dispatched the Striking Force Unit to the venue.
Upon realizing he was in trouble, Nana Amoateng, decided to speed off but run out of luck as his car fell into a ditch, and he had to escaped with the gun leaving behind his Mercedes Benz car which was later tolled to the Central Police Station, here.
Mr. Dalmeida, told the court that since then the chief had been playing hide and seek after the workers made official complaints to the police.
He was, however, arrested on Thursday August 29 and remanded into police custody for four days.
In court, Nana Amoateng admitted pulling the weapon, because he was under the influence of alcohol. He was granted a GH¢10, 000 bail with two sureties to be justified.
This is not the first time Nana Amoateng, is meddling in land issue, involving the SHC and some private encroachers.
Sometime, last year, he was spared Otumfuo’s wrath of destoolment concerning a similar case, upon the intervention of some renowned paramount chiefs in the Ashanti Region.
The paper gathered that the gun in question was once retrieved by his lawyer, Kwaku Ayensu Opare-Addo, an ex-Ashanti Regional Police boss, after the court ordered him to bring the gun, having claimed it was missing.
Meanwhile, The Herald is informed that the lawyer and other powerful chiefs linked to the Manhyia Palace are pleading for an out of court settlement.
An independent investigation by the paper indicated that the SHC was given the right of entry into the 107 acre land, since 1995 after all the necessary customary drinks were paid to the late Nana Adom Pumpuni, while the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu, signed the lease covering it.
It also emerged that upon his enstoolment in 2007, Nana Amoateng disregarded all legal and customary arrangements on the lease, and started collecting sums ranging from GH¢ 2,000 to GH¢ 3,000 from encroachers claiming ownership of the land.
Out of magnanimity the company, according to the paper’s sources, thoughtfully released 10 acres of the land to Nana Amoateng to settle the people, whose monies he had illegally collected. But he was not satisfied, hence his constant harassments and threats.
Surprisingly, the chief is re-directing payment of the annual grand rent the company has been paying to the stool land administration.
A true copy of a receipt issued for payment indicated that the company in May this year, paid a colossal sum of GH¢4, 280 (forty –two million and eight hundred thousand old cedis) as its grand rent.
Also the lease document in the possession of the paper pointed to the fact that the SHC will utilize the land till 2099, meaning the land was legally acquired from the proper quarters.
An official of the company, who spoke to this reporter stressed that the situation where some chiefs collaborate with some private individuals to encroach on lands acquired by the company, is one of the major issues affecting them in their quest to give the public the best they deserved .
“ You see, we have collected people’s monies with the assurance to build houses for them, but when things go this way it is our names that they would be spreading around. We want you the media as partners to help in fighting these illegal acts,” he remarked.