Yaw Adjei, 45, a farmer, and four others appeared before a Circuit Court at Dormaa-Ahenkro charged with unlawful possession of firearm and illegal felling of trees.
Adjei pleaded not guilty to two counts of illegally possessing firearm and ammunition without license and four accomplices, Richard Akagla, 34, John Kwarteng, 43, Kofi Asamoah, 27 and Lawrence Asante, 30 all chain saw operators also pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit crime and processing forest products without authority.
But the court, presided by Mr. Samuel Djanie Kotey granted Adjei, a bail of GhC10,000 with two sureties to be guaranteed with a property of equal value to the bail sum.
The court granted the other four accused persons a total bail sum of GhC60,000.00 with three sureties to be justified, in addition to a property worth the bail sum as guarantee.
Presenting the facts of the case, Police Chief Inspector (P/C Inspt.) Timothy Ahiaduvor, the prosecutor said the complainant, a forest guard with the Forestry Commission at Dormaa-Ahenkro accompanied by some forest concession guards working with a local timber processing company went on routine patrol with the view to flush out illegal chainsaw operators from Mpameso Forest Reserve on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
P/C Inspt. Ahiaduvor said when they reached a section of the forest reserve’s compartment that belonged to the company, the accused persons were spotted converting timbers into lumber.
“They were arrested, and one Italian-made short gun was retrieved from Adjei, fifth accused persons while two chainsaw machines were also seized from Kwarteng and Asamoah, second and third accused persons respectively,” the prosecutor added.
P/C Inspt. Ahiavudor stated during Police interrogations Akagla, first accused, Asamoah and Asante (fourth accused) admitted the offence and stated that they were working for one Frank, a timber dealer at Kasapin in the Ahafo Region.
He said Adjei too admitted the offence, but could not produce any documents covering the gun, saying after thorough investigation they were charged with the offence.
The court adjourned the case to Wednesday June 22 this year.