The Akyem Oda Divisional Police Command has arrested eight people for their alleged involvement in the abduction, torture and illegal destoolment of Nana Asamoah Korang III, the Chief of Akyem Abodom, near New Abirem in the Eastern Region.
The suspects include the Nifahene of Abodom, Nana Adu Boakye, 65; Comfort Duah, 43, and Kwadwo Owusu, 37.
The rest are Martin Owusu, 60; Kwasi Nyantakyi, 28; Yaa Ataa, 62; Yaa Koo, 73, and Susana Amagbor, 33.
The Mpraeso Circuit Court has remanded Kwadwo Owusu in prison custody, while the remaining seven have been granted bail.
Briefing the Daily Graphic in Oda yesterday, the Oda Divisional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr F. S. Adikah, said around 5.30 a.m. on January 27, Nana Korang was in the palace at Abodom with his elders preparing to observe the first Akwasidae for the year.
He said six masked men who were engaged by the suspects suddenly emerged, armed with machetes and clubs, beat up some of the elders an picked the chief.
Mr Adikah said the suspects dragged Nana Korang to a nearby bush where they forcibly removed his cloth and a pair of sandals and inflicted machete wounds on him.
Thereafter, they slaughtered a ram and poured its blood on his feet to signify his destoolment.
He stated that when the police had a hint of the incident and rushed to the scene, the masked men had left, leaving Nana Korang in the bush with blood oozing from different parts of his body.
According to the Divisional Police Commander, the chief was rushed to the New Abirem Government Hospital, where he was admitted.
He said police investigations led to the arrest of the suspects, including Comfort Duah, who was once proposed as the queenmother of Abodom but was rejected by the chief.
Meanwhile, the police have managed to retrieve four out of the five stools the suspects stole from the Abodom Palace on the day of the incident.
Mr Adikah warned kingmakers and their elders that it was a crime to use cruel and wicked means to destool a chief, according to Section 63 (F) of the Chieftaincy Act, 2008 (Act 759).
He said the punishment for that offence was a fine of not more than 200 penalty units or imprisonment for a term not more than three months or both.
Mr Adikah expressed concern about the fact that “destoolment by capture and molestation” was becoming rampant within the operational area of the division.