Kwabenya fugitives’: Court sets May 15 for ruling on submissions by accused

The Accra Circuit Court hearing the case in which some armed men freed inmates at the Kwabenya Police Station after an attack on the station, killing a Police Officer on duty, has set May 15, for ruling on submission that there is no case for the accused to answer.

The court sets the date, after counsels for the accused had prayed the court to be given two weeks to file their submissions of no case.

The court has asked the counsels for the accused to ensure that they file their submissions between now and May 9.

Earlier, the last prosecution witness, Detective Inspector Frank Owusu Afrane was cross examined by lawyers of the accused.

Counsel for Nancy Denta asked whether in every charge office, it is the Counter NCO and the Station Orderly who manned the office, and he answered in the affirmative.

He said the Station Orderly records all happenings at the station in the station diary, while the Counter NCO handles, inspects and probes every item meant for the inmates at the cells, and so nothing goes to the inmates of the cells without his consent.

He further said that it was Nancy who took the phone from one of the inmates, Dickson and went to charge and brought it back to him, but he did not chance on the said phone during his investigations, neither has he brought it to be used as evidence in the court.

When asked whether he had not brought a transcription as evidence of any phone conversation to be used as evidence in court, he answered yes, adding that, the the allegations levelled against Nancy were not based on imaginations but were true.

Counsel asked the witness, whether per his interactions with Nancy, he noticed that she was an illiterate, and had no knowledge of dealings and happenings at the station, but he explained that although she was illiterate, she was aware that phones are not to be sent to the cells.

The third accused person, George Yeboah put it to the witness that it was never true that the inmates who escaped went to him (George), for money, as he the witness said in his evidence in chief, but the witness stressed that, the escapees went to George for money.

Counsel for Prince Kofi Acheampong and Edward Lartey, Niibi Ayi-bonte asked, the witness, whether during his investigations, the name Dickson Ofori and Chibuzor Abuka came up and whether he found out the offences for which they were detained, he answered in the affirmative, saying they were charged for robbery and possession of firearms.

He said he did not take a critical look at their charged and cautioned statements, so he did not get their telephone numbers.

But he took the cautioned and charged statements of Price Acheampong and Edward and so he had their telephone numbers.

When asked whether during his investigations he found out whether Prince and Edward had ever spoken to each other, he said no.

Counsel for the two, asked whether he still maintains that Prince Osei said he stole the gun and cartridges from Prince Acheampong, as he said in his evidence in chief, the witness answered that Prince Osei told the police that it was Prince Acheampong who gave him the gun.

When asked why he arrested Edward Lartey when he went to arrest Prince, he said he arrested Edward to assist in investigation.

He said he found out that Edward assisted in the escape, but is yet to find out the role he played during the incident.

Counsel for Kofi Seshi and George Sarbah, Mr George Asamani asked where the Attah Kwadwo he mentioned during his evidence in chief was, and he said he was currently at the Nsawam prison.

He said he interrogated Attah, who told him he saw one of the guys who assisted in the escape, so he took him to Kasoa Nyanyano and pointed at Kofi.

He said Attah told the police that he knew Kofi as a taxi driver so he was able to identify him, when he went to the Kwabenya cells.

He said he wrote the statement of Kofi and George, but Kofi denied the offence even after he was told what Attah had said.

The lawyer pointed out that Attah got to know the house of Kofi when he visited a friend at Nyanyano, but the witness said that was not true, and that Attah said he knew Kofi as a taxi driver at Nyanyano.

The witness said upon the arrest of Kofi, they met George there and arrested him to assist in investigations.

At this point the witness was discharged after all the lawyers ended their cross examination.

The prosecution told the court that, they have ended their case.   

They called four witnesses including Lance Corporal Robert Owusu, and Lance Corporal Samira Mohammed, Lance Corporal Richard Amoakohene and Detective Inspector Frank Owusu Afrane.

At the last sitting the case was adjourned because counsels for the accused who were expected to cross examined the last prosecution witness  after his evidence in chief on April 18 were not in court.

The facts of the case as presented by Prosecution led by Superintendent of Police, Kweku Bempah were that, the complainants are Policemen stationed at Kwabenya District Police station.

Prince Osei, 25, is a scrap dealer living at Glefe Dansoman; Atta Kwadwo, 20, is a driver; and Kofi Darko, 25 also a trader living at Glefe, Dansoman.

Nancy is 28 and lives at Dome; and George Yeboah is 30 and lives around the Graphic Road.

Prince Kofi Acheampong is 32 and lives at Afienya; Edward Lartey is 20 and lives at Tema Newtown; Kofi Seshie is 28, George Sarbah is 23, Elvis is 31, George Asante is 33, and Theophilus is 25.

Mr Bempah said on January 21, at about 0130 hours, a gang of armed men numbering six attacked the Kwabenya Police station and freed their colleagues who were being held in detention for various violent crimes.

He told the court that in execution of their plan, the assailants proceeded to the station whilst two of them who pretended to have a complaint to lodge, entered the charge office and told the counter Non-Commission Officer (NCO) that someone borrowed money from them and had refused to pay back.

The counter NCO No. 43225 G/Cpl. Robert Owusu advised them to seek a redress at the civil court since the case they were reporting was civil matter, the two then signalled the rest, who had laid ambush within the premises, and launched an attack on the Policemen at the charge office.

The prosecution said they shot Inspector Emmanuel Ashilevi, who was on duty as a Monitoring Officer on the right buttocks, held the counter NCO, his counter orderly, the charge office guard, and the night investigator hostages.

He said they took the keys to the cells and released seven of the inmates, namely, Chibuzor Akwuba, Emmanuel Kotey, Rockson Edem Dzigbede, Dickson Ofori, Prince Osei, Attah Kwadwo, and Kofi Darko.

After the armed attack, the assailants fled the scene, the NCO and the night Investigator arranged for an ambulance and rushed Inspector Ashilevi to the Police Hospital for treatment, but they were referred to the 37 Military Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Mr Bempah told the court that, Police intelligence, led to the arrest of George Yeboah, who assisted Prince Osei and Attah Kwadwo with GH¢200.00 to escape out of the jurisdiction.

He also gave GH¢40.00 to Kofi Darko to enable him escape from the jurisdiction.

He said on January 23, Police intelligence led to the arrest of Prince Osei and Attah Kwadwo at Worawora in the Volta Region.

Investigations also revealed that whiles in detention, on January 18, Prince Osei overheard the other inmates planning to escape.

According to the Police, in the evening on the same day, Nancy brought a mobile phone to Dickson in the cells, which he used to contact his people outside to execute the escape plan.

Rockson’s brother also brought a hacksaw blade to him by hiding it in bread to cut the padlocks to the cells but he could not do so.

He said upon interrogation, Prince Osei, said he stole a gun from Prince Kofi Acheampong.

He also revealed that Dickson and Chibuzor are Acheampong’s boys whom he normally sends out on robbery trips.

Mr Bempah said further investigations also revealed that it was Acheampong in collaboration with Dickson and Chibuzor who sent the armed men to attack and release them from the cells, which led to the death of the Inspector.

On January 25, at about 0200 hours, Acheampong was arrested together with Edward from their hideout at Afienya.

The prosecution said on January 27 at about 0230 hours, Attah led the Police to a house at Kasoa Nyanyano and pointed Kofi Seshie to the Police as one of the gang members who came to rescue them from the cells and also shot and killed the Inspector.

He said the rest are all suspected accomplices arrested to assist in police investigations.

Source: GNA

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