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Taxi driver testifies in Koala robbery case

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LawThe taxi driver who knocked down two persons in the Koala Shopping Centre Robbery case has testified before an Accra Circuit Court.

The driver whose media name was Nana Yaw said on the day of the incident he dared Stanley Obaliko one of the accused person who had a gun to shoot him.

Witness said “Obaliko shot at me twice but he miss target which is me”.

Led in Evidence by prosecuting Chief Superintendent of Police Mr Duuti Tuaruka; Nana Yaw said on the day of the incident, he was driving from the El-Wak Sports Stadium vicinity to the American House.

Witness said however on reaching a junction near the United States of America Embassy, he heard gunshots and when he drew closer, a man standing by told him that robbers had attacked and shot a lady who later was identified as Ms Lydia Horsu, the complainant in the matter.

According to the witness, what readily occurred to him was to knock down the robbers with his vehicle so the Police could arrest Obaliko and Okoe Quarcoe.

Nana Yaw said Obaliko rather shot at him and drove his motor bike towards his vehicle and in the process I (nana yaw) knocked Obaliko and Quarcoe down.

Witness said the two accused persons fell behind his vehicle.

According to Nana Yaw he saw a gun lying beside the two accused persons so he (Nana Yaw) decided to kick away the gun with his leg.

“Obaliko however picked the gun and I dared him to shoot me. After Obaliko missed his two shots, a mob assisted me to arrest the two accused persons,” witness said.

Nana Yaw said a Policeman who also arrived at the scene called the Police Patrol Team and they picked up Obaliko and Quarcoe.

Answering questions under cross-examination by Obaliko who was without a lawyer, Nana Yaw denied that he ambushed him (Obaliko) and Quarcoe.

Nana Yaw denied that Obaliko (Obaliko) did not shoot him.

Witness admitted that he was the only one seated in his taxi when the incident occurred.

When Quarcoe took up the cross- examination, he again asked the court to forgive him as he did not know what the victim was carrying.

When it got to the turn of Gilbert Osabutey, Michael Edor Ahiataku aka Old soldier, a private security man, and Frederick Sedro Kwame, defence counsel, Mr George Asamaney said they had no questions for the witness.

Hearing continues on April 8.

The accused persons, Osabutey, Michael Edor Ahiataku aka Old soldier, a private security man, and Frederick Sedro Kwame, who have been charged with conspiracy to rob, have pleaded not guilty.

Obaliko and Quarcoe sustained injuries during the robbery incident and they have been on admission since January 9, this year.

Appearing before the Court, Obaliko and Quarcoe pleaded guilty to the charges of robbery.

However, the Court presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh, after listening to their explanation entered a plea of not guilty on their behalf.

Chief Superintendent of Police Mr Duuti Tuaruka said the complainant in the case was Lydia Horsu, a Marketing Administrator with the Shopping Centre, who went round daily to collect the previous day’s sales to the head office.

On January 6, this year, Osabutey, Ahiataku and Kwame hatched a plan to rob the Shopping Centre and sought the assistance of the two others, now at large, who also recruited Obaliko and Quarcoe to carry out the plan.

The Prosecution said on January 8, this year, around 2000hrs, all the accused persons met at the Koala Shopping Centre at Cantonments and Osabutey, who was a supervisor at the Cantonments Branch, briefed them about the movement of the complainant.

The prosecutor said the accused persons agreed to rob the complainant the following day.

On January 9, at about 0800hrs, the complainant went to the Koala Shopping Centre, Cantonments, but she decided to pick the Company’s invoice and voucher to audit them and left for the head office at the Airport.

On seeing the complainant leave the office, Osabutey alerted the accused persons through phone calls and Obaliko and Quarcoe boarded a BMW motor bike and moved closer to the Koala head office.

Obaliko and Quarcoe trailed the complainant to a point near the American Embassy at Cantonments.

The Prosecution said Obaliko who was then the pillion rider alighted, drew out a pistol at the complainant and ordered her to surrender her handbag to him.

Chief Supt Tuaruka said Ms Horsu refused to comply and raised the alarm.

He said this infuriated Obaliko who pushed the complainant down and shot her twice in her thigh and calf and after which he (Obaliko) and Quarcoe sped off.

A taxi driver, who witnessed the incident, chased them with his vehicle and hit their motor bike.

Police investigations, however, led to the arrest of the rest of the accused persons.

Chief Supt. Tuaruka said the victim, who was shot twice by the accused persons, is on admission at the 37 Military Hospital, responding to treatment.

Source: GNA

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