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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 12 October 2017


Three get 75 years for robbing firm at gun point

Three persons who robbed a retail firm at Mamprobi at gunpoint, three years ago, and made away with GHC3,710 cedis and other valuables, have been sentenced to prison for a total of 75 years.

Hafiz Ali, aka Send the Money, 24; Yakubu Shaibu, aka Jelilu, who had been on remand till their sentencing, were sentenced to 25 years each on the charges of conspiracy to rob and robbery.

Emmanuel Laryea, a 36-year-old sales officer, and an employee of Kweku Swanzy Enterprise, dealers in soft drinks who had been on bail, was sentenced to 25 years on the charge of abetment of crime.

Their sentences are to run concurrently.

The operation of the three led to the death of Daniel Mills, an ex-soldier, and a security man who was at post at the Kweku Swanzy Enterprise.

The Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh, which found them guilty at the end of the trial, stated that the Prosecution had been able to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

Mr Paul Kumi, who represented Ali and Shaibu, however, pleaded with the Court to tamper justice with mercy.

Mr Kumi prayed the Court to give them such sentences that would not make the lives of the young men wasted.

The Court, after considering the plea for mitigation; and the number of years spent in custody by the accused, declared that Ali and Shaibu had been described as “notorious”, therefore, they should be kept away from society since they had little consideration for humanity.

“As for Laryea, the least said about him the better,” the trial judge declared.

As part of evidence adduced in court, it was established that the three met and planned robbery with three others, who were still at large, at Zongo Junction.

According to the Court, CCTV footage also captured Laryea, who was then a staff of the Company, as being part of the robbery.

The Court observed that while the robbers were ordering the staff about, the manner in which Laryea walked leisurely raised suspicion of his involvement in the robbery.

The Court said the Laryea in the CCTV footage signalled the robbers and showed them where the monies were kept and pointed out that his denial of the offence was an afterthought since his evidence was full of contradictions.

The Court noted that in Laryea’s statements he confirmed that he knew of the robbery and he and one Nicolas and Solo, both accomplices, drunk some concoction given to them by one Mallam (spiritualist) before embarking on the robbery.

The facts, as narrated in Court, were that Kweku Swanzy Enterprise Limited dealt in the retailing of assorted soft drinks, at Mamprobi, in Accra.

On July 18, 2013, at about 1630 hours, staff of the Company were busily working when six armed men on two motorbikes stopped at the company’s premises.

They ordered all the workers around the gate to get into the company’s premises and further ordered them to all lie on the floor.

Soon after, the robbers shot the security man at post and entered into the various offices and stole GH C3,710 cedis.

The security man was rushed to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital but he died while receiving treatment.

An autopsy conducted on his body concluded that he died of ‘Massive right subdural haemorrhage consistent with gunshot wounds to the head’.

Laryea was picked up after the CCTV showed him leading the robbers to the various offices of the Company.

Shaibu was, subsequently, picked up by the Police at Zongo Junction, near Abossey Okai, following a tip-off, while Ali was identified by a staff of the Company.