GEORGE Asante, the aide to National Security Coordinator, Major General Francis Adu Amanfo (Rtd), who was arrested for allegedly engaging in illegal mining has been denied bail by a Koforidua High Court in the Eastern Regional capital.
George Asante, was among the 32 persons claiming to be National Security Operatives arrested in Atewa Forest reserve engaging in galamsey and remanded by Koforidua Circuit Court ‘B’ to reappear before the court on June 8.
George Asante however filed a bail application through his lawyer at the High Court but has been refused.
George Asante is alleged to be the ring leader of the accused persons most of whom are members of the disbanded vigilante groups -Delta and Invisible Forces.
The accused persons went berserk on Monday, May 24, 2021, at the premises of Koforidua Circuit Court’ B’ after the court refused them bail.
The prosecution led by Dickson Donkor and Helen Samlafo both State Attorneys, and ASP Sylvester Asare – Police Prosecutor prayed the court to remand the accused persons into Police Custody to enable further investigations into some names of individuals mentioned by the accused persons as those who allegedly sent them.
The 32 suspects have been charged provisionally with possession of firearms without lawful excuse.
Meanwhile, Seven others who were also arrested on May 30, 2021, for illegal mining with a chanfang boat on the River Birim at Sankubenase in the Atiwa West District have been admitted to GHC600,000 bail with a surety each by the Koforidua Circuit Court “B” presided by Mercy Adei Kotei.
The accused persons; Akpalu Emmanuel, 24; Daniel Dzorgbetor, 27; Boamah Francis, 20, Maxwell Kudomoa, 26; Maxwell Mensah, 18; Atigah Ebenezer aged 23, and Mustapha Dey, 20 years old.
The suspects’ lawyer pleaded with the court to grant the accused bail with the assurance that they will avail themselves to court anytime they are needed.
The Judge interrogated the accused persons places of abode and work they do before granting them bail on Thursday, June 3, 2021.
The bail conditions were yet to be met by the accused persons.
Earlier, there has been tension simmering in the area as the residents were agitating over the delay by police to arraign the accused persons before Court after their arrest on Monday.
The residents noted that the persons who paraded as National Security Operatives led by one Jagabo, a farmer to affect the arrest of illegal miners and in connivance with the local Police, take monies from the suspects and set them free.
They, therefore, informed the District Chief Executive for the area, Isaac Asamoah Akomaning to ensure that the suspects are prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to other recalcitrant illegal miners still mining on the Birim River.
When contacted on phone, the Kwabeng District Police Commander, DSP Harold Opoku Yamoah, angrily refuted the allegations.
He said the suspects were in police custody and being prepared to be arraigned before court.
FROM Daniel Bampoe, Koforidua