Kwabenya fugitives trial: I called the police myself – Prince Osei
The first accused in the trial of some armed men who attacked and freed inmates at the Kwabenya Police Station killing a Police Officer on duty, Prince Osei on Monday told a Circuit Court that he called the Police himself.
He said “I called one Inspector Ben at the Striking Force and informed him that I was also at the Kwabenya cells when the incident occurred so I wanted to give my statement”.
Answering questions from the counsel for Prince Kofi Acheampong, who is the fourth accused after he had opened his defence, he told the court that he was arrested in relation to the Kwabenya case, at ‘Rara’, when he called the police.
During cross examination by the prosecution, Prince explained that he was arrested when he went to Kwabenya alone to see a taxi driver friend and detained “So I was in the cells when the incident happened that is why I called the Police officer afterwards”.
When asked whether the gun and cartridges found on him were his the accused insisted as he had earlier told the court that, nothing was found on him upon the search.
According to the prosecution, Prince earlier told them he took the gun from Prince Acheampong, but he answered that he did not take anything from Prince Acheampong.
Earlier when opening his defence, Prince told the court that he was a car spare parts dealer and lives at Dansoman.
He said one Tuesday morning he picked a car from circle to Kwabenya, upon reaching the Ashongman roundabout, the Police stopped the car and said they wanted to conduct a search in the car.
He said they asked him to come down from the car which he did, and they searched him while the other passengers remained in the car.
He said while they were in the process, the mate of the car brought a white handkerchief to the Police containing six cartridges, and said it was mine.
“I told them it was not mine, but they insisted and took me to the Police vehicle. Over there they conducted another search on me for about five minutes but still could not find anything,” he said.
Prince said later, the Police told him that, “if you don’t know anything about the case, then you should go back”. But on my way back, three Nigerian suspects who were already in the Police vehicle, told the Police that I had left something in the car. I noticed that what they claimed I had left was a gun. I told the Police it was not mine.
According to him, the Police insisted that I should follow them to the Kwabenya Police Station.
The accused told the court that he was in cells for a week and one night he saw that the cell was opened and the other inmates were running away also followed them.
The prosecution ended its case after calling 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.