7 arrested at Somanya for vandalism, 4 others on the run

General News

At least seven people are in the grip of the Eastern Region police for vandalising properties of the Somanya office of the Electricity Company of Ghana last Friday.

The arrested men include the Assembly Member of the area, Jones Tetteh who is alleged to have instigated the attack.

Four others are on the run, the police have said.

Related Article: Photos: ECG under attack over ‘extremely outrageous’ bills

The burnt police vehicle

The ECG Eastern Regional office came under attack from some residents who were dissatisfied with what they described as ‘outrageous’ utility bills.

The residents wielding sticks and stones damaged the office of the company in protest after they waited for hours to get a response from ECG officials without success. They left behind broken glasses and dirty ECG walls.

Related Article: Somanya ECG office attack: No arrest made for fear of escalation

The damaged ECG Somanya office

It emerged the protest was led by Mr Tetteh popularly known as Dindindin who owns a block factory in the area. He is reported to have incited the residents after his factory was denied power following his inability to pay his bills.

There was an escalation of hostilities after the police Monday arrested the Assembly Member and five others over Friday’s incident.

Brandishing other weapons, the residents set on fire a police vehicle and burnt tires in their bid to resist the arrest of the ‘ringleader’ and the others.

Related Article: Police vehicle set on fire as arrest sparks fresh Somanya violence

Eastern Regional Police PRO, ASP Ebenezer Tetteh told Dzifa Bampoh on Joy FM’s Top Story Monday, there was strong police presence hours after the incident. “We have men from the Counterterrorism Unit and SWAT.”

Eastern Regional Police PRO, ASP Ebenezer Tetteh

He said the police officers have been given specific instructions to arrest men who would want to take the law into their hands.

Mr Tetteh said the Assembly Member is being held in custody for “unlawful damage” and for demonstrating without a permit. He said they will push for his prosecution if the investigation reveals “incontrovertible evidence” against him.

“You can imagine that if the police had not taken the action, other people elsewhere would have done same…we are going to ensure that those who are planning attacks are clamped down,” he said.

But the Yilo Krobo Member of Parliament, Magnus Kofi Amoatey said the arrest by the police is to blame for what happened in the area.

“Clearly the police were not ready for the attack that came today [Monday],” he said, adding the police should have been prepared before launching the operation.

Mr Amoatey reiterated his readiness to ensure the punishment of culprits but said that has to be done after tensions had died down.

“I very much regret Friday’s event and that of today [because] I want law and order to reign supreme but let us be careful,” he said.

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