Cops arrest five over compo demand

National, Normal

The National,Friday 09th December 2011

POLICE in Enga arrested and charged five men on Tuesday for demanding compensation from the State. 
Provincial police commander Martin Lakari said the armed men from Pawas village, Wabag, threatened construction workers who were trying to uproot yar (casuarina) trees planted on the roadside.
“The men said the trees were theirs and that the State must pay them before removing them,” Supt Lakari said.
“This is nonsense as a notice was issued by the provincial administrator, Dr Samson Amean, provincial works manager Laim Moses and me on the Nov 10, stopping road improvement claims against the state,” he said.
He said the construction workers from Kayser Construction Ltd working on the 10km Wabag-Liagam road quickly alerted police who intervened and apprehended the men.
Lakari did not release the names of the suspects but said they would appear before the Wabag District Court.
He said the men had been charged with one count each of unlawfully demanding compensation from the state, adding the punishment was K10,000 fine or two years imprisonment.
“I have placed 21 policemen on the ground to deter further harassment of workers and further compensation demands,” he said. He urged locals to voluntarily remove their structures and food crops along the road and make way for construction.
Lakari said excessive and unnecessary compensation had hindered the delivery of vital government services in Enga and police under his command would not tolerate any demands for compensation against the State.