A District Court in Tamale has granted bail to some 17 suspects arrested in the latest chieftaincy clashes in Bimbilla after a Circuit Court judge earlier swerved the case.
Police initially arrested 21 suspects on Thursday in Bimbilla where a protracted intra-ethnic chieftaincy violence has killed many and uprooted dozens from their homes.
Seventeen persons were re-arrested by the Tamale police after screening and were formally charged for breaching curfew in a suit filed at the Circuit Court.
Prosecutors sent the suspects to the court but the judge failed to turn up forcing a change of court.
Court authorities did not give details for the judge’s absence and prosecutors declined to speak on the issue.
At the district court, His lordship Anthony Aidoo Aduku sat on the case and after a short legal battle between lawyer for the accused and prosecutors bail was granted to the defenders who had pleaded not guilty.
It was with a surety of ¢1,000.
Lead prosecutor ASP Regina Yobo had wanted the court to punish the accused who were arrested within curfew hours following the recent violence.
The lawyer argued vigorously that his clients were also escaping the clashes from work and got rounded up by the security forces.
He argued further saying his clients were without weapons or any harmful object when the police picked them and prayed the court for their freedom.
His Lordship Aduku granted the request of the lawyer after prosecutors failed to link the defenders to the violence.
Eleven persons mostly women and children were killed on February 9, and more than 10 people hospitalized in Bimbilla.