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Okorase riot: Two arrested; Police gathering evidence against fetish priest

file photoTwo persons have been arrested in connection with Monday’s disturbances at Okorase in the Eastern Region which resulted in the burning a vehicle belonging to a fetish priest who was at the centre of the chaos.

Twenty-four year-old Kwasi Larbi and Cynthia Oduro, 36, are currently in Police custody on the offence of breach of peace, and are being processed for court, the Police has told TV3.

Residents of Okorase in the Akwapim North District of the Eastern Region on Monday evening went on the rampage, setting ablaze a vehicle to register their displeasure over the sudden disappearance of one man.

The angry residents say the Police has been dragging its heels in investigating a fetish priest, Jackson Kofi Didonu, who they suspect of being behind the disappearance of the 35-year old carpenter, Kojo Yebaoah.

The Police on Monday kept the priest in its custody to protect him from being lynched by the residents after a search team failed to find the missing carpenter; an action that triggered the residents to rise against the Police.

Meanwhile, calm has since been restored to the area with people going about their daily businesses but relatives of the carpenter have vowed to take the law into their hands should the Police fail to swiftly investigate the priest.

” We want the Police to help find our son or we take the law into our own hands,” one of the relatives told TV3.

On Tuesday, signs of Monday’s riot were still visible. The burnt vehicle and pelted stones were still scattered Okorase Police station area where the incident happened.

Speaking to TV3 Tuesday, Eastern Regional Public Relations officer, ASP Yeboah Nketiah, said they have granted the fetish priest bail but says that does not mean an end to the case, noting the Police needs evidence before it can prosecute the priest.

Background

The residents did not understand why the Police was protecting the priest who it said has failed to investigate the priest for the disappearance of the carpenter.

For over three hours, the Police could not control the crowd who pelted them with stones until reinforcement arrived to bring the situation under control.

Personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service were called in to extinguish the fire but the car was totally burnt.

Family sources told TV3 that Ntow left home three weeks ago in the company of two others including the fetish priest in search of some special “green bottles” to sell for money.

According to them, Yeboah never returned and all efforts to reach him on phone and other means have not yielded any result.

The family sources say they later saw the priest in the town, and quickly reported the matter to the Police, who met with them and the priest after which an agreement was reached for a search team to be dispatched to Apam in the Central Region where the three had gone in search of the bottles.

On Monday, the team comprising Police officers, family members and the priest went to Apam to search for Yeboah but did not find him. They then returned to Okorase.

“Rituals and other efforts did not help find the body or give a clue or direction to the whereabouts of the missing man,” one family member told TV3.

In view of the development, the Police sensing danger, decided to keep the priest in its custody to avoid him being lynched by the angry residents but that infuriated them the more as they suspected the Police was shielding him instead of investigating him.

By Yvonne Neequayee|tv3network.com|Ghana

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