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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 26 July 2007

Source: GNA

Trial for four alleged kidnappers begins

Accra, July 26, GNA - An Accra Circuit Court on Thursday commenced trial for three men who played various roles in kidnapping a 19-year-old girl, Mahart Seidu from Accra to Walewale.

The court, however, for the second time turned down a bail application put in for the men - Amadu Seidu, the victims father, Ibahim Tia and Nabilla Banmarugu, an uncle of the victim. The court remanded them into custody to reappear on August 2.

Zingey Haruna, the driver of the Mercedes Benz bus in which the Mahart was chained, is on 60 million cedis (GH 6,000 cedis bail). They have pleaded not guilty to five counts of kidnapping, assault by imprisonment, conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to assault and compulsion of marriage.

Mahart was chained to a seat of the bus set to be transported to Walewale into a forced marriage but was rescued by men from the Accra Central Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service.

The prosecuting, Chief Inspector Lawrence Gbele, called his first witness, Constable Quarcopome Sackey.

Constable Sackey, who is on attachment with the MTTU, Accra Central as a dispatch rider, identified Zingeh, Tia and Nabilla. He said at about 1500 hours on July 15 he was detailed for observation duty at Tema Station in Accra when he saw that people had surrounded a Benz Bus with registration number GW 2852 J. Constable Sackey said when he enquired about what was going on he was told that a female had been chained in a vehicle.

Later the driver of the vehicle arrived at the scene. Constable Sackey said people pointed out Nabilla and Tia as those who had chained Mahart to the seat in the vehicle.

Constable Sackey said with the assistance of one Bukari he got Zingeh, Tia and Nabilla to accompany him to the MTTU, Accra Central, where they were arrested.

Answering questions under cross-examination by Mr Kwabena Mensah, counsel for Tia Seidu and Zingeh, Constable Sackey said he did not read the story in the newspaper.

Constable Sackey said he wrote his statement on July 23, 2007. The prosecution had told the court that Nabilla purchased tickets from Tia, a loading boy at the Tema Station, for two passengers travelling to Walewale.

The prosecution said Nabilla left the station and returned after a brief moment to tell Tia that the person he was travelling with was not willing to go and asked for his assistance to convince her to board the vehicle.

Although Tia was able to convince Mahart to come to the station, she declined to board the vehicle.

At that point, the prosecution said, Nabilla, with the assistance of Tia, forced the victim into the vehicle.

While Tia was loading the bus, he detected that the victim was struggling to get out and alerted Nabilla who managed to secure a chain and padlock with which he chained the victim to the seat. Chief Inspector Gbele said investigations revealed that it was Seidu, Mahart's father who sent Nabilla to Accra to bring his daughter to her marital home.

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