Three persons suspected to be members of a gang of land guards from Apolonia on Friday morning opened fire on a combined team of police from the EMEF Estate Police Station and the Tema Regional Police Command.
Those arrested are 54-year-old Simon Nuertey, driver; Emmanuel Noi Anum, 36-year-old carpenter; and 30-year-old security personnel, Abraham Nuertey.
The suspects’ accomplices, numbering about 15, reportedly fled the attack scene just before the police arrested the three.
The whole incident began when the complainants in this case, who are said to be owners of a property at Apolonia, realised that some persons had earlier on Friday dawn visited their property and in the process burnt some structures and destroyed some erected concrete pillars.
The complainants lodged a complaint about the theft of some of their survey equipment worth several thousands of Ghana cedis which they left in their structures on the property.
Confirming the incident, Superintendent Kwesi Ofori, the Dodowa District Police Commander noted that some police detectives from the EMEF Estate Police Station were detailed to go with the complainants so as to observe the scene for investigation purpose.
Superintendent Ofori said on reaching the scene, the suspects and their accomplices suddenly emerged and threatened to open fire if both the police detectives and complainants did not leave the property.
They reportedly opened fire on the police and the complainants when they realised that their directives were ignored.
Even though there was no casualty, one of the complainants sustained some injury in what the District Commander said was an attempt to avoid being shot at.
“With assistance from a combined police team from the Tema Regional Police SWAT and the Ashaiman Divisional Command, the three were arrested and a pump action gun in the possession of Simon was seized,” the Dodowa District Commander said.
A pick-up vehicle with registration number GT 1167-12 which was said to have been used in conveying the suspects to the scene and allegedly driven by Simon was intercepted and moved to the forecourt of the EMEF Estate Police Station.
At the time of this paper’s visit to the police station, the suspects were in police custody; their caution statements were being taken.
According to the District Commander, the pick-up vehicle and the pump action gun are all in police custody expected to aid investigations.
The arrest of the three suspected land guards, according to Superintendent Ofori, brings to 19 the number of suspected land guards arrested in that area over land litigation. He sounded a stern warning to persons who parade themselves as land guards and create trouble.
He further warned that anyone arrested would not be spared to ensure that the area is rid of such miscreants who have made it a habit to always disturb the peace.
He said for far too long the area had witnessed a number of such cases and pointed that the police were prepared to bring all that to an end.
The relations of the suspects have meanwhile denied that they are suspected land guards. According to them, the suspects are residents of Apolonia who were trying to protect their lands from being sold to certain persons.
They admitted that they actually went to the scene but denied knowledge of the person who reportedly opened fire on the police. “Yes it is true we went to the property but we never attacked anyone. We are youth from Apolonia and on hearing that some persons were developing portion of our lands, we decided to move there in our numbers to stop them,” a young man remarked and only described himself as a member of the Nuertey family.