Kwabenya fugitives: Six discharged, four to open defence
An Accra Circuit Court has acquitted and discharged six out of the ten persons standing trial over an attack at the Kwabenya Police Station to free inmates in a cell, killing a Police Officer on duty, have been acquitted and discharged by an Accra Circuit Court.
The six, George Yeboah, Edward Lartey, George Sarbah, Elvis Owusu, George Asante and Theophilus Bandah, were all charged for abetment to escape from lawful custody.
The court presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh discharged the suspects following submissions of no case by counsels for the accused.
The court said the prosecution failed to establish a case against them, and accordingly discharged them.
The remaining four, Prince Osei, charged for possession of firearms, Nancy Denta, and Kofi Seshie charged for abetment to escape from lawful custody, and Prince Kofi Acheampong charged for abetment to possession of firearms are to open their defence on the next adjourned date after a prima facie case was established against them.
Friends and family members of the six in wild jubilation mobbed the acquitted persons, pouring powder on them to signify victory.
The case was adjourned to May 23.
At the previous hearing, the prosecution ended their case, and the court asked the counsels for the accused to ensure that they file their submissions of no case by May 9. It also set May 15, for ruling on their submission.
This was after counsels for the accused had prayed the court to be given two weeks to file their submissions.
The prosecution called four witnesses including Lance Corporal Robert Owusu, Lance Corporal Samira Mohammed, Lance Corporal Richard Amoakohene and Detective Inspector Frank Owusu Afrane.
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.