Police Arraign 41 Rioters, 3 Murder Suspects

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Following a day of violent protest in Ganta over the wave of ritualistic killings across the county as well as the gruesome killing of a motorcyclist on September 30, which prompted the violence, police have arraigned 41 rioters and three suspected murderers for prosecution.

Several other persons detained in connection to the rioting were released because, according to the police, there was no evidence to link them to the protest.
The police are yet to comment on the status of businessman, Prince Howard, who was allegedly linked to the killing of the motorcyclist in Ganta on September 30. There is growing concern among residents about the role of the police in the arrest and detention of those suspected of being involved in the riot, rather than arresting those suspected of being behind the brutal murder of a motorcyclist, which sparked the tension that rocked Ganta.

However, the Head of Police Crime Services Department, Jersey King, has assured residents that they will do everything to bring the perpetrators of the crime of murder to justice, regardless of who that person might be.

The Ganta Christian Community has meanwhile given the government a one month ultimatum to speed up with the investigation into circumstances leading to the death of the cyclist, or else they too will partner with sectors of the society to take further actions against the killings in the society.

The Christian Community did not say what actions they would take, but they remain resolute that government must arrest and bring suspected perpetrators of “mysterious killings” of citizens in the county to justice.

Meanwhile an uneasy calm has returned to the commercial Ganta City following the protest. For now, public places including schools, banks, stores and market places are fully open for business, but the ban on commercial motorcycling in the city remains in force, which residents describe as “unbearable.”

Even though, taxis and other commercial vehicles have taken over the transportation system since the ban on the cyclists by the Ministry of Justice, the ban remains one of the key problems facing bike owners who earn their livelihood from commercial motorcycling.

Just yesterday, October 6, CSD Director, Jersey King, warned Ganta residents against any further demonstration. Mr. King’s warning comes in the wake of reports allegedly received by LNP officers that some residents are planning to carry out a “peaceful protest” against the ban on motorcyclists.

The ban, according to residents, has worsened the transportation crisis across the county owing to deplorable road networks that have prevented commercial vehicles from plying further into the interior part of the county.

Although, reports of the pending demonstration have not been verified, police have been put on alert and officers have been divided into units that are deployed at strategic locations in Ganta.

Some prominent citizens of Ganta have called on the government to ease the ban, but many still feel it was too early to lift the ban. Some even suggested that before the ban is lifted, there should be some restrictions on the operation of bikes in Ganta.

Amos Nyan Suah, “We are appealing to the government to lift the ban on motorcyclists in order to ease the transportation constraints students and other residents are now facing.”

“We condemn the incident that occurred in Ganta recently, (both the killing and the vandalizing of properties), but we are appealing to the government to lift the ban, because a majority of the residents, mainly the youths, now see the running of commercial bikes as part of the informal sector of the country’s economy. But if the ban remains in place for even one day, it will create further hardship for our people.”

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