More than 70 suspects have been arrested in connection with mob attacks on police officers at Kwahu Bepong, police have announced.
A statement from the police on Monday, February 5, said the latest arrests bring the total number of suspects in custody to 71.
“All the suspects will be put before the court to face justice,” said a portion of the police statement.
The suspects are alleged to have attacked the Bepong Chief’s Palace and injured seven people, including five police officers, on February 4.
They also damaged police and private vehicles at the scene.
Trouble started when police were called to the palace to take over a murder suspect who had been arrested by community members.
But when they tried to prevent a mob from lynching the man, they were attacked with stones and other objects.
The suspect, 23-year-old Kwasi Tenkorang, is said to be an ex-convict who, according to sources, raped and murdered a 45-year-old woman, Akua Kyerewaa. A 65-year-old brother of the victim, Kwasi Antwi, who attempted to rescue his sister during the act, was also hit on the head with a metal bar, resulting in his instant death.
An eyewitness, whose name was only given as Frederick and who was on his way to the farm, narrowly escaped death after witnessing the incident and being chased by the suspect.
The suspect, who has been on the run since the incident, was arrested on Sunday, February 4th, and taken to the chief’s palace.
Members of the community who learned of the arrest stormed the palace, demanding his immediate release for instant justice, but the police, who were called in, prevented it from happening.
However, when the police prevented them from lynching the suspect, they rather attacked the police, throwing stones and other implements at them.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong, has expressed optimism that schools in Kwahu Bepong will reopen by Wednesday. The closure of schools in Kwahu Bepong was ordered by the Kwahu South Municipal Security Council (MUSEC) in response to the upheaval at the chief’s palace.
However, the incident has impacted some school management members and raised concerns among parents, leading to the decision to temporarily close the schools.
Despite these challenges, the minister remains hopeful that students will be able to return to school by Wednesday, given the ongoing efforts to address the situation.