A 50-year-old Farmer at Akwatia in the Eastern Region, Kennedy Owusu was on Sunday 18th May 2014, summoned before the Akwatiahenfie (Akwatia Chiefs Palace) and whipped severely on the orders of Akwatiahene, Osabarima Kofi, Boateng III, for cutting down a huge Tree at the Cemetery for his personal use.
Before he was whipped under the scorching sun, Kennedy was made to Kneel in front of the chief and his elders gathered at the palace for about 50 minutes.
His crime was that he had gone to the Akwatia Cemetery to cut down a huge tree which served as a form of protection for the people of Akwatia. According to sources, the tree served as a playing ground for the witches of Akwatia and its surroundings.
From the Palace, Kennedy and his family members moved straight to the Akwatia Police station to lodge a complaint over the incident. The Police issued a medical form for him to seek medical care. Police Investigations later revealed that he was not responsible for the cutting of the tree, but the Moslem youth who use the site as their burial ground.
Speaking to this reporter in an exclusive interview, Kennedy Owusu said, “The chief summoned me to the Palace and leveled these allegations against me. They did not even give me a chance to tell my side of the story”.
The Akwatia Police Commander, ASP Aboagye confirmed Kennedy reported; that he had been whipped at the Palace in front of the Chief and his elders. He said “I issued a form to him to go to the hospital for treatment. I later ordered the arrest of the accused persons. They have been granted bail as we speak and we will soon process them to court. Nobody is above the Law, whether you are a chief or head of a family, you are not above the law”, he assured.
Contrary to ASP Aboagye’s statement, the Akwatia District Police Crime officer, Peter Otchere in a separate interview said that Kennedy came to him to withdraw the case against the accused persons and also stop their prosecution. He said he has recordings to prove his claim.
That is why we have withdrawn the charges against the accused person. When asked whether that alone was adequate to halt the prosecution of the accused persons, he said no, but now Kennedy ought to submit a written letter which would be attached to the docket to prove his case in future before the charges could be withdrawn. So the question is why have the charges been withdrawn and the accused freed suddenly when Kennedy has not submitted a letter of withdrawal of the charges against them.
Reacting to the claim of the Crime Officer, Kennedy Owusu said the elders of the chief came to his house to apologize and pleaded with him to withdraw the case against the accused persons on realizing that he was innocent.
“I refused and told them that I will pursue the case to its end at the court so I don’t understand why the crime officer is telling you this. I don’t know if he has taken money from them to withdraw the case. I know that Peter Otchere is in the good books of the chief. So he can tell you lies to defend them. What I know is that the police have assured me that the case will go to court and that is what I am expecting from them. I am not ready for any compensation”, he stated.
Source: The New Crusading Guide
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