Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 1 January 2013
A trader, Eric Opoku, alias Yaw Gyasi, has been sentenced to 110 years by the Accra Circuit Court for his involvement in two separate robberies in which two drivers were robbed of their cars.
He was tried on charges of conspiracy and robbery, respectively.
During the trial, Opoku changed his plea from ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’ in both cases.
The trial judge, Mr Francis Obiri, then convicted him to 10 years and 50 years’ imprisonment on two counts of robbery and conspiracy in the first case, and another 10 years and 40 years’ imprisonment in the second case.
All the sentences are to run concurrently.
In the first case, Opoku’s five accomplices were each granted bail in the sum of GH¢10,000, with two sureties who must be resident in the Greater Accra Region.
They are Samuel Kingsley Yeboah, alias Moses; Bismark Bonney, Kofi Badu, alias Kofi Nsawam; Jordan, alias Kwasi Asare, and Osei Agyemang Prempeh, all traders.
In the second case, Opoku's accomplice, Kwasi Moses, was admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢10,000, with two sureties.
According to the facts of the first case as presented in court on December 28, 2012, Opoku was a resident of Elubo in the Western Region. On June 12, 2011, he and Yeboah hired a taxi driven by Joseph Banson at the Accra Shopping Mall area at Shiashie about 12:30 a.m. to take them to the Ankonam Estates at Adenta in Accra.
The car was a KIA Sephia, with registration number GR 2834-11.
On reaching their destination, the convict and his accomplice pulled a gun and a knife and dragged the driver out of the car and sped off.
About 3 p.m. that same day, the car was found abandoned on the Nima-Kanda highway.
In his caution statement, Opoku admitted the offences and mentioned the other accomplices.
According to him, it was the other accomplices who provided him and Yeboah with a licensed number plate and other documents anytime they embarked on an operation.
In the second robbery, Opoku and Kwasi Moses, on the day they embarked on the first robbery, also robbed Samuel Darkwa of his KIA Pride taxi, with registration number GN 2355-10.
Darkwa's car was hired by a young man from the Dome Railway Crossing to Haatso. On reaching a section of the road, the man asked the driver to alight and immediately the car stopped, Opoku, who was armed with a locally manufactured pistol, emerged from the bush to attack the driver.
The car was taken to Kumasi, where the colour was changed and the registration number too changed to GT 6891-11.