Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nine Rat Hunters in Court for Bushfire Offences

The presiding judge of the Tamale Magistrate Court, His Worship Gabriel Mate-Teye has issued a stem warning to politicians, opinion leaders, and chiefs in the Metropolis who for wants of popularity would try to influence judiciary system to desist or face the law.
The judge who was emotional charged issued this warning when nine persons arrested and charged with unlawful and negligently causing damage contrary to section 12 of the 172 Act 29/60 of the criminal code appeared before him to answer these charges brought against them by the officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The nine persons include six juveniles were arrested by the Tamale police somewhere in January 2011 for setting fire to the bush that destroyed a 36 acre cowpea farm at Nyamelga, a farming community on the Salaga road.
Though the pleas of the six juveniles were not taken the court however granted to reappear in court on the 16th March 2011 to enable the court making arrangement to hear the case of these under aged children in camera as stipulated by the law.
Two of remaining three pleaded guilty to the offence and would be sentenced on the 21st when they reappear before it.
Before adjoining the case to 16th and 21st of this month respectively, the judge, His Worship Gabriel Mate-Teye who commended EPA officials for resisting pressures and influences for bringing the case before the court observed with concerns the negative effects of rampant bushfire in the northern region saying his outfit would deal drastically with any persons brought before it on charges of setting fire to the bush.
The nine accused persons were on hunting expedition at Nyamalga, a community near Tamale metropolis where they allegedly set fire to the bush which subsequently destroyed a 36 acre cowpea farm, according to the prosecutor Inspector Johnson Keremeng.
He said on the 22nd day of January 2011, the northern regional director of the EPA lodged a complain to the police that some were burning people’s farms in search for rates. The police quickly dispatch a patron team who arrested the suspects at the scene.
Some rates which were tended in court as evidence were retrieved from the accused persons. The police the prosecutor said also retrieved 25 bicycles, and a motor bike which the suspects claimed ownership.
 The judge however adjoined the case to 16th and 21st of this month and issued warning to people to desist from acts that turned to influence judiciary system or justice.

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