Alleged kidnappers of bank manager plead not guilty
Eleven persons, including five soldiers, who were allegedly involved in the kidnapping of Mr Albert Mmegwa, Managing Director (MD) of Intercontinental Bank and his driver, Mr Richard Makumator, on Monday pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and kidnapping.
The court presided over by Mr. D.E.K. Daksetey remanded them in Police custody to reappear on September 2 for the trial to commence.
They include George Agyei, a labourer, Samuel Eklou, a student, Foster Senoo, a taxi driver, Moses Ayuoba, a trader, and Abdullai Mohammed Takai, an Information and Technology Consultant.
The rest are Henry Adu Yeboah, Patrick Akeleyire, Andrews Dokyi, Godwin Avege and Thomas Obeng Agyei, all Lance Corporals in the Ghana Army.
An accomplice, whose name was given as Alhassan, is said to be at large.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr. P.K. Frimpong told the court that the Police had completed their investigations and were ready with their witnesses, adding that it would be premature to grant bail to the accused.
“This is a serious offence. We request that the accused be remanded for the trial to commence so the court would have a clear idea of the matter before it.”
The defence team said the accused persons were brought to Court on August 10 and prosecution requested that they should be remanded.
The defence team contended that under the offence of kidnapping, bail should not be refused, stressing that they needed to have access to their clients, have conference with them so they could assist the court to arrive at the truth.
In the case of the five soldiers, the defence team said they had fixed places of abode and it was in their own interest to defend the allegation levelled against them.
The case of the prosecution was that after 2000 hours on April 6, Mr. Mmegwa and his driver closed from work and were heading towards Trasaaco Valley Estate in Accra.
A few minutes before reaching his house, Eklou and Alhassan, now at large, together with the five soldiers, stopped the victim’s Range Rover in the middle of the road and ordered the driver to alight and open the boot of the vehicle.
The driver complied but he was asked to join Mr Mmegwa in the back seat.
The military men then showed the MD a letter suggesting that he was wanted at the Military Headquarters.
After blindfolding them, Avege, drove the victims in their car.
Senoo and Ayouba drove in a taxi ahead of the victims and took them to a house at East Legon where George Agyei, the caretaker, opened the gate for them to enter.
The victims were kept in two separate dark rooms after tying their hands and legs to chairs on which they sat and they were not offered any food.
The five soldiers then drove the MD’s car to Madina and abandoned it.
Moses Ayouba, the alleged ring leader, used Mr Mmegwa’s mobile phone to make a series of calls to bank officials and demanded money before releasing the victims.
On April 8, Ayouba called Mr Mmegwa’s secretary to meet him with a parcel containing 100,000 dollars around Fiesta Royal Hotel, North Dzorwulu, in Accra.
Eklou approached the Secretary in her car and collected the 100,000 dollars on the instructions of Ayouba.
After collecting the money, Ayouba purchased a Toyota Corolla for Foster Senoo. The said car was used in conveying the victims to a bush around Legon where they were abandoned.
A week later Ayouba met Henry Adu Yeboah at the Trade Fair and offered him 4,000 dollars as their share of the booty.