Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 14 May 2014
The State could not produce two witnesses to testify in the trial of Johnson Kombian when the case was called Monday.
This, according to Principal State Attorney, Mrs. Marina Appiah Opare, was because the investigator had told her that the two witnesses, one at Nankpanduri and the other in Accra, had been occupied with very pressing assignments.
The trial judge, Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh, subsequently adjourned the case to May 20, 2014 and prayed the investigator on the case to ensure that the two witnesses were produced on that day for the case to continue.
Kombian, alias Garkum, and his accomplices who are currently on the run, are alleged to have ambushed three policemen on October 17, 2010 and succeeded in killing two of them.
The deceased are Constable Prince Agyare and Constable Owusu Frimpong.
A third policeman, Corporal Osei Bonsu, sustained gunshot wounds but survived.
Kombian allegedly conspired with his friend, Kofi Naaman, known as Accra Boy, to rob Djato Mathias and then attempted to kill him.
He was arrested, tried and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment by the Tamale Circuit Court, but he escaped while serving his jail term.
According to the prosecution, Kombian sought refuge at Nakpanduri in the Bunkprugu Yunyoo District in the Northern Region, which is his hometown.
On October 17, 2010, the accused person and his accomplices received information that a number of policemen had been detailed to perform duties at the Nakpanduri Scarp.
Suspecting that the policemen had been assigned to pick him up, Kombian and his friends, who were also labelled as notorious robbers by the prosecution, ambushed and attacked the three policemen. They allegedly fired gunshots at the policemen who were on a motorbike. The policemen fell into a 10-metre long valley.
The accused person and his group continued to fire sporadically into the valley, with the hope of killing the policemen, who also retaliated with occasional gunfire.
After 30 minutes of firing, Kombian and his gang stopped. On realising that the gunshots had ended, Agyare and his colleagues mistakenly thought their attackers had left. They, therefore, came out of their hideout and were subjected to more gun fire.
Help finally came for Agyare and his colleagues while Kombian and his accomplices bolted. The wounded policemen were conveyed to the Nalerigu Hospital, but Agyare was later pronounced dead.
Frimpong also died later, while Bonsu was transferred to the Police Hospital in Accra where he was treated and discharged.
Kombian escaped to Togo after the incident, but he was later picked up by the Togolese authorities and handed over to the Ghanaian authorities.
He was convicted by the Circuit Court, presided over by Mr. Justice E. Kyei-Baffour, and sentenced to serve five years’ imprisonment for escaping from lawful custody.