Businessman accused of stealing and threatening with death granted GH¢2.5m bail
A businessman, who allegedly stole 16 different brands of cars all totaling $115,850 equivalent to GH¢1,621,900, the property of Auto Plaza has been granted bail by an Accra Circuit Court.
The accused person is also said to have unlawfully entered the compound and the warehouse of Fafia Auto Plaza Limited and threatened one Jihad Hijazi with pistol by firing two rounds of ammunition.
After unlawfully entering the compound and the warehouse, the accused also made away with some workshop items and furniture like Diagnosing Machines, empty tool box, Totem (Renault), Pressing Machine, Wheel Balancer, Three ton Car Jack (2), Six ton Car Jack (1), One ton Car Jack, a Set of Broken Down Vehicle Lift and Two Renault picture frames (2), all totaling $41,033.19 equivalent to GH¢574,464.66.
He also made away with a Sofa Set, Four Side tables, Centre Table, Three Flower vases with flowers, five Office Shelves, 12 Steel Cabinet, Five Wooden Cabinets, Six Office Desk, 11 Swivel Chairs, Executive Table/Chair, Two TV Stands, 10 Window Blinds, 12 Metal Shelves, 12 Desk Tray, Five Medium Size Carpet, Three Small size Carpet, 10 Spec Boards and Four Old AC Outdoor units, all totaling GH¢44,745.00.
Abdullatif Ghamrawi Azzam, who was charged with unlawful entry, threat of death and three counts of stealing, pleaded not guilty.
Initially, counsel for the accused person prayed for bail.
Prosecution did not oppose to bail, however prayed the Court to consider the fact that there was nothing on record indicating that the accused person was not a Ghanaian national, the amount of money involved, the gravity of the offence among others.
It also prayed the Court to consider the above mentioned factors when granting bail with its conditions to commensurate with the amount of money involve in the case.
The Court presided over by Mr Jojo Amoah Hagan, therefore, admitted the accused person to bail in the sum of GH¢2.5 million with two sureties.
It ordered that the sureties be justified with landed property with a title deed stamped and registered.
The Court also ordered that the sureties should deposit their passport picture at the registry.
The accused person was ordered to submit his original passport to the registrar.
The matter has been adjourned to May 27, 2023.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Haligah, holding brief of Police Chief Inspector Agatha Asantewaa, narrated to the Court that the complainant Madam Mavis Opoku Kani, is the Credit Control Manager of Auto plaza, a company incorporated under the laws of Ghana.
The prosecution said the complainant resided at Cantonments, while the accused person was a resident of North Kaneshie, both suburb of Accra.
It said the accused person used to be an errand boy of the Late Mohammed Hijazi, Chairman of Auto Plaza, and also Managing Director of Fafia Auto limited, located at Agbogbloshie in Accra.
The prosecution said in 2015, the company sent 59 different vehicles to the precinct of Fafia Auto limited for Safe keeping and around the same period the late Mohammed Hijazi fell sick and died on June 17, 2022.
It said weeks after his demise, the accused person forcibly broke into the yard of Fafia Auto limited and with the aid of some heavily built men, drove all workers of the late chairman and took possession of the place.
The prosecution said the accused person later lifted some of the cars parked in the yard to unknown destination and also broke into the shops and made away with some workshop items and furniture as indicated in the charge sheet.
It said management of Auto Plaza had wind of the accused person’s unlawful takeover of the property.
The prosecution said the current Chief Executive Officer of Auto Plaza, Mr. Jihad Hijazi, and other workers of the company proceeded to the place to ascertain the truth but the accused person accosted them.
It said in ensuing melee, the accused person fired twice at them with a pistol he was wielding but fortunately for the complainants and the witnesses nothing untoward happened to them.
The prosecution said the complainant with the aid of some witnesses picked two expended ammunition shell at the scene and handed over same to the police.
It said the complainant petitioned Director General CID and the accused was arrested.
The prosecution said the accused person later led the police to his office within the Fafia Auto limited building and 380 ACP CAL TALON Pistol was retrieved after a search.
It said the two empty shells and the pistol have been forwarded to the Police Forensic Laboratory for Ballistic Examination and result.