An Adentan circuit court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Mark Okraku Mantey, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, for failing to appear before it.
The deputy minister has been charged for allegedly violating Sections 7 (1) and (2) of the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act. The prosecution says he forcibly gained access to the land, owned by one Alhaji Tony Baba.
Okraku Mantey was to appear in court today (18 January) to continue completion of the case management conference for the trial to commence, but failed. His lawyer was also absent, but he sought permission from the court.
Prosecuting, Superintendent of Police Patience Mario prayed the court for a bench warrant to effect the arrest of the accused person. The court, presided over by Sedinam Awo Balokah, issued the warrant and adjourned the matter to 8 February 2022.
The case of the prosecution was that the complainant, Alhaji Tony Baba, was an estate developer residing in North Legon, Accra.
It said the complainant was developing a parcel of land at Oyarifa High Tension, ownership of which the accused person, too, was allegedly claiming.
The prosecution said on 3 March last year, the accused person went to the site with three “thugs” two of whom were on a motorbike and another in his (the deputy minister’s) car.
The prosecution said on 9 March last year, the accused person visited the site for a few hours, after which the “thugs” with whom he previously visited the site went back to the site and attacked the workers and caused damage to parts of the building allegedly.
It said the complainant reported the matter to the police and mentioned the accused person as the one behind the “unwarranted attacks and damages”.
The prosecution said that, during interrogation, the accused person was contacted to report at the police to assist in investigations.
It said while police were waiting for the accused person, more damage was allegedly caused to the three-bedroom building on 10 March last year, and Okraku Mantey was identified as the one who had brought and ordered the “thugs” to cause the damage.
The prosecution said that on 3 April last year, the complainant’s workers were allegedly attacked again and two people sustained injury.
It said the injured people were issued with police medical forms so they could seek treatment.
On 20 March 2021, further extensive damage was allegedly caused to the building, which had been built to lintel level and was valued at GHC63,700.