Crime & Punishment of Friday, 21 March 2014
The Koforidua Circuit Court will on April 8, 2014 give judgement in a case involving two persons, Samuel Kwame Akwetey and Isaac Agormor, said to have robbed Georgina Boadi in the Kenkey Factory area of Koforidua.
The judge made the pronouncement after Akwetey and Agormor, who early on admitted responsibility in their statements to the police yesterday denied their involvement, claiming that the statements were taken from them under duress and torture.
They said since they belonged to Pentecostal churches, they never raided Georgina Boadi’s house.
While Akwetey, described by the police as the mastermind and leader of the gang, said he worshipped with the Voice of the Lord Church in Koforidua, Isaac Agomor said he was a member of the Church of Pentecost, which drew laughter and catcalls from the court.
The two, according to the police, raped some of their female victims in some other operations in which they were involved in the New Juaben Municipality.
Akwetey, Agormor and others – namely Isaac Eshun, Godwin Ametoyo and Harrison Ofori (now at large) – had been charged with conspiracy, unlawful entry, destruction of property, robbery and rape in many robbery cases in the Koforidua area.
They, together with five accomplices – Mahmood Zibo, Charles Awuku, Gideon Boateng, Desmond Kwame and Kofi Adjei – had been charged with abetment of crime and dishonestly receiving and were being tried by the court, presided over by Mr Ebenezer Osei Darko.
Zibo had earlier been granted a GHC20,000 bail with two sureties to be justified.
Akwetey and Agormor said although they gave statements to the police accepting responsibility for the offences, the statements were made under duress, adding that they were tortured at the time.
They said they were members of the Church of Pentecost and Voice of the Lord Church and that they never robbed any household.
The two denied their involvement after two prosecution witnesses – Corporal Benson Martin Gyamfi and Corporal Emmanuel Agbodzie – had read their own statements which were given in the presence of independent witnesses accepting responsibility for the robberies.
That compelled the court to bring in the independent witnesses, who said the accused persons were never tortured or made to give their statements under duress.
At a certain stage of the trial, counsel for Eshun, Mr Wiafe Danquah, told the court that Eshun never took part in the robbery and that he was returning from a watch night church service when he was arrested, which was greeted with boos from the court.
The prosecution team was led by Mrs Emily Addo Okyireh, a Principal State Attorney, and assisted by Mr Frederick Tetteh and Madam Priscilla Dikro, both Senior State Attorneys.
Mr Francis Polley, a Koforidua-based lawyer, represented Charles Awuku and Kofi Adjei, while Mr Wiafe Dankwa held sway for Gideon Boateng with Mr Isaac Larbi, another counsel, standing in for Desmond. Hearing continues on March 26.