Crime & Punishment of Monday, 28 January 2013
An Accra Circuit Court on Monday sentenced a 23-year-old second hand clothes dealer, Salu Abu, to 40 years imprisonment for attempting to rob at gun point a Forex bureau at Osu.
Abu charged with possession of arms or ammunition without authority and attempted robbery, pleaded not guilty, however the court presided over by Mr Francis Obiri after a three-month trial, found him guilty.
The court, therefore, sentenced Abu to five years on the charge of possession of firearms or ammunition and 40 years for attempted robbery. Sentences are to run concurrently.
The court noted that Abu had the intent to rob and kill Mr Richard Eghan Asiedu, the complainant, who was the cashier on duty at Quick Pick Forex Bureau, on the day of the robbery.
According to the court, the offence of robbery had been on the increase emphasizing that the citizens of the state must have their liberty to go about their activities peacefully, hence the need to confine him.
It further ordered for the destruction of the locally manufactured pistol Abu used in committing the crime.
While prosecution called three witnesses to make their case out, the convict however called none.
When given the opportunity to say anything before handing the sentence, Abu pleaded with the court and the audience in the courtroom to have mercy on him.
But the court said: “Abu demonstrated intention to rob and kill therefore does not deserve any mercy”.
Quoting Matthew 5:7 to support his claim, the trial judge noted that Abu did show mercy to the complainant as he shot him twice but only missed his target, stressing that the court could not have mercy on him either although he was a first time offender.
Abu in his defence told the court that he only went to the Forex Bureau to change some money but on reaching there, he was told that the bureau had not opened for business.
He said when he realized the bureau had not opened, he decided to leave the place only to hear people shouting and he was apprehended.
Meanwhile, in his investigation cautioned statement to the Police, Abu contended he and his friend went there on a motorbike to rob and subsequently, his accomplice asked him to collect all the monies in the Forex Bureau. He was instructed not to shoot anyone.
He said his accomplice, however, escaped with the motor bike when the situation got out of hand.
Prosecuting Chief Superintendent of Police Dwuti Fianko told the court that the complainant was Mr Aseidu whiles the convict resides at Sukura, a suburb of Accra.
He said on November 1, last year at about 0730 hours Abu went to Quick Pick Forex Bureau, Osu under the pretext of changing some monies and in the process pointed a pistol at the complainant and ordered him to produce all his monies.
Prosecution said the complainant obliged and was about to hand over the monies when Abu shot at him but missed his target.
The complainant, prosecution said, gathered courage and held Abu who fired for the second time at the complainant but missed again.
According to prosecution, both complainant and Abu struggled over the pistol and he (complainant) succeeded in taking the pistol away from Abu.
Knowing that he would be apprehended, prosecution said, Abu took to his heels but an alarm was raised and witnesses as well as passersby nabbed him and handed him over to the Police at Osu for questioning.
Prosecution said Abu in his caution statement admitted the offence.