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General News of Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Delta Force members fined GHC31,200 for escaping lawful custody

The thirteen members of the Delta Force vigilante group aligned to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) who escaped from the Circuit Court in Kumasi last Thursday have been fined a total of GHC31,200.

The 13 pleaded guilty to the offence of escaping from lawful custody, and were fined Gh¢2,400 each by the Kumasi Circuit Court (4) when they were arraigned on Tuesday morning, reports Graphic Online’s Donald Ato Dapatem from Kumasi.

The court handed them 200 penalty units each which translates to GHC2,400 each.

The court said it was lenient with them because they were first time offenders and also because they surrendered themselves to the police and thereby saved the police the time in going to look for them.

It also said it took into consideration the guilty plea by the 13 which also saved the court the time of going through an entire trial.

Ato Dapatem reported that the atmosphere at the court was calm. There was a heavy security presence unlike the first time they were taken to court last Thursday.

They were charged for escaping from lawful custody after a group of young men believed to be their colleagues in the Delta Force stormed the court to free them following a two-week remand slapped on them by the KMA Circuit Court.

The 13 are Kojo Fosu Bamba aka Kojo Bamba, Awal Sadat Abubakar, Abubakar Sadiq Abuhammed, Jamil Issa, Hamza Mohammed, Salu Issahak, Akwasi Owusu, Kwabena Owusu, Kofi Kyei, Eggya Boadi, Salu Yussif, Yussif Salu and Kwaku Awortwe.

Before their escape and eventual return to custody, the 13 faced charges of a conspiracy to commit crime, assault on a public officer, causing unlawful damage and preventing a public officer from performing his lawful duties.

With the hurdle of escaping from lawful custody cleared, the 13 will return to serve their time in prison custody until Thursday April 20 when the substantive case of conspiracy to commit crime, assault on a public officer, causing unlawful damage and preventing a public officer from performing his lawful duties would be called.

The 13 are part of a total of 21 members of the Delta Force group who were picked by the police after they led their group to attack the Ashanti Regional National Security Liaison Officer, Mr George Agyei.

Meanwhile, eight people, thought to have masterminded the attack on the court last Thursday, which enabled the 13 to escape from lawful custody have also been remanded in prison until Tuesday April 18, 2017.

They have been charged with disturbing a court session, resisting arrest and rescuing persons in lawful custody.