Source: Graphic.com.gh

The Police in Kumasi would arraign former Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Maxwell Kofi Jumah in court on Monday.

He is to be charged with two counts of causing damage and offensive conduct conducive to breach of peace.

Jumah is said to have destroyed election materials including voters’ register during the opposition New Patriotic Party’s parliamentary primaries at the Asokwa constituency in Kumasi on Saturday.

He was said to have seized a ballot booklet from an Electoral Commission official and attempted to tear it, resulting in a free for all fight.

Reasons for his action were not clear but eyewitnesses said he entered the voting hall, unprovoked, and began tearing the ballot papers and destroying other voting materials.

Speculations were that he was angered by a rousing welcome given to his rival, Patricia Appiagyei when she came to the polling station.

The police subsequently arrested and handcuffed him.He was placed in custody on Saturday and spent the night in police cells at the Asokwa Police Station. As of midday on Sunday, he was still in police custody.

Police officers in Kumasi told Graphic Online that arrangements were underway to grant him a police enquiry bail later on Sunday. He would be arraigned in court on Monday.

If the court finds him guilty of the offences, he could face a prison term of up to two years, a fine or both.

Jumah served as a Mayor of Kumasi from 2001 to 2004 before becoming a Member of Parliament representing the Asokwa constituency from 2004 to 2008 within which period he was appointed a Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development by former President J.A. Kufuor.

In 2008, his successor as Kumasi Mayor, Madam Patricia Appiagyei contested him and snatched the Asokwa seat from him. The rivalry between the two became intense from then on as Jumah saw Appiagyei as a “tormentor” especially as her first attempt at Parliament was at the Asawasi constituency in 2004 also in Kumasi, where she lost to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Jumah accused Appiagyei of running away from the Asawasi constituency which was difficult for the NPP to win as it was a “safe” seat for the NDC.

Jumah in 2012 tried a comeback but was rejected by the NPP delegates. His second attempt in last Saturday’s primaries also failed as Appiagyei won with 326 votes as against 158 by him.

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