The case of the 33 supposed National Security operatives who were arrested for galamsey activities in the Eastern is getting more intense as the Kaneshie District Court refused jurisdiction to hear the case and grant them bail.
Drama unfolded when the court turned down an invitation to grant bail to 11 of the suspects who appeared before it.
The prosecutor, ASP Sylvester Asare, was in court to secure a remand order to enable the state to gather evidence and make its case against the suspects.
A case of possession of firearms without lawful excuse is being built against them.
But the defence lawyers drew Her Worship, Ama Adomako Kwakye’s attention to Section 192 (2) of the Criminal and Offences Act 1960, Act 29 as amended, which requires the Attorney General’s written consent in such matters before the court can entertain it.
Her Worship Adomako Kwakye, on the basis of the provision, declined to hear the case.
She said the consequence of the provision was that there was neither a case of bail nor remand properly before the court to be heard, and subsequently released the suspects.
But as is the situation in such cases, and was to be expected, all 11 suspects were immediately re-arrested.
Facts of the case
According to the prosecution, the 33 accused persons presented themselves as operatives of the National Security set up but in fact, are not.
The suspects have been accused of visiting several mining communities in and around the Eastern and Ashanti Regions to undertake illegal mining activities.
They are said to have threatened residents, demanded and seized unspecified kilos of gold and varying sums of money from certain galamsey operators acting in the name of National Security.
The state submitted that security agencies picked intelligence sometime in January that the accused persons armed with rifles were undertaking illegal mining activities in the name of the National Security and harassing communities around the Eastern Region.
And on May 4, 2021, a team of plain-clothed and uniformed personnel from the National Security Secretariat were dispatched to the Akenteng forest reserve, near Osinease in the Eastern Region where they rescued the accused persons from the clutches of angry youth.
This operation the Prosecution said was supported by officers from the Eastern Regional Police Command.
The accused persons were subsequently transported to Accra for interrogations during which they are said to have admitted that they were not National Security Operatives.
They, however, claimed ownership of the weapons retrieved.
They are also said to have disclosed that they were in the forest to undertake reconnaissance.
The exhibits, according to the prosecution, included a Tudor short gun, pump-action, two shotguns, assault rifles and 10 rounds of ammunition as well as a cougar pistol.
The prosecution said exhibits retrieved from the accused persons include a Tudor shotgun, a pump-action shotgun, assault rifles and 10 rounds of ammunition as well as a cougar pistol.
The team also retrieved from the accused persons 12 Gotta handsets, three handcuffs, four shovels and an electronic shocker.