Volta Rebels: Family appeals to Akufo-Addo to intervene over arrest of six ‘innocent’ persons at Battor, Adiekpornya

Family members of six alleged innocent persons who were arrested together with the militants of Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF) and Western Togoland Restoration Front (WTRF) have made a passionately appeal to President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo to intervene in the matter by ensuring their release.

The six are Mr Wisdom Viku, Mr Lawson Viku, Mr Gabriel Viku, Mr David Gabianu, Mr Williams Tsikata and Mr Duho David.

While Mr Wisdom Viku, Lawson Viku, Gabriel Viku were arrested on Monday, February 17, 2020, David Gabianu, Williams Tsikata and Duho Davi were picked up on Saturday, March 6, 2021.

According to Mr Samuel Viku, the spokesperson for the six families, their checks with the North Tongu District Chief Executive (DCE), who doubles as the Chairman of District Security Council (DISEC), Mr Richard Collins Arku, the Commander of Aveyime Divisional Police Command and North Tongu District Bureau of the National Investigations Officer, have revealed that they were all not aware of the recent arrest which took place at Battor.

He indicated that the security personalities told them (the Adiekpornya family members) that they had made phone calls to the various security offices in the region before they were told that the police officers and soldiers who came to do arrest were from Aflao.

According to him, the security officers disclosed that the six persons were arrested upon a tip-off by some chiefs and elders of Battor Traditional Council who accused them of being part of the “Volta Rebels.”

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He explained that the elders exhibited this act ostensibly to stop these personalities who were supporting Mr David Gabianu, who has been given Power of Attorney by Torgbui Adabla of Ete Clan of Battor to represent the Adiekpornya family in court in pursuance of the land case between Adiekpornya family and Battor Traditional Council headed by Torgbui Dzekle.

The said acres of the land which was under a bone of contention was situated at Battor Manya area which belonged to the Adiekpornya family of Battor.

According to the embattled family, their call on President Akufo-Addo had become necessary because the six persons were not among the real secessionist groups who were alleged to have committed heinous crimes.

They reiterated that the six persons were unlawfully arrested based on wrong information by their critics who fighting them over the said land at Battor Manya.

Again, they indicated that the prosecution was not properly done, indicating that they believed that the immediate intervention by the presidency can go a long way to help set the six innocent persons free.

The spokesperson for the family insisted that the ‘enemies’ of the six innocent persons concocted lies against them.

He said when the chiefs and elders of Battor Traditional Council realised that the documents tendered in Ho High Court by Mr David Gabienu and his team were bigger than them, they pleaded for the case to be settled outside the court, which the two parties came to an agreement to that effect.

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“Suddenly, we were shocked that those elders had turned up to lie against Mr David Gabienu and his team who are supporting him in court that they were also Volta ‘Rebels’ and eventually the police came to arrest them on Saturday, March 6, 2021 and took them to the BNI cell in Accra.

“So we are calling on President Akufo-Addo to intervene and ensure that justice is served to the six innocent persons,” the Spokesperson intimated.

When contacted via telephone to respond to the matter, the DCE of North Tongu District Assembly, Mr Richard Collins Arku expressed misgivings about the arrest.

“I can say on record that l am not happy about current arrest of the people which took place at Battor. This is because since the incident happened compounded with the arrest of the suspects of militants of Homeland Study Group Foundation and Western Togoland Restoration Front at Battor and other locations in the region, Mr David Gabienu whom l know very well and other men were always seen in the Battor township.

“Being the Chairman of District Security Council we have intelligence that the scores of the suspects of perpetrators of the act had rather ran away from their place abodes, so why the police would come to effect another arrest without the knowledge of me, the Police Commander in charge of Western Togoland Militants Arrest Team, BNI and Aveyime Divisional Police Commander,” the DCE stated.

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He disclosed that he was preparing to meet the Minister of National Security, Mr Albert Kan Dapaah to officially report the current arrest to him because “we cannot sit down idle for this to go on in our jurisdiction.”

The DCE cautioned against the continuous habit of some individuals who are fond of reporting persons they have long standing issues with to the police as members of the suspected Togoland secessionists.

According to the DCE, their intelligence gathering brought out some information from some key stakeholders within the district indicates that some individuals were fond of reporting some innocent persons to the police to be arrested because of personal misunderstanding.

He emphasized that “this is the national security issue so we must be careful of giving information about someone who is not part of the group who committed.

“This habit is completely not good for our peaceful coexistence in the area, because the real suspects of Volta Rebels who committed the heinous crime that very day, we had the intelligence that those who were not arrested are now on the ran.

“…so why should someone else report individuals who are always seen every day in their place of abodes after the incident of the Volta militants to the police again to be arrested even without our knowledge,” the DCE stated.