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General News of Friday, 14 June 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Court remands six suspects over kidnapping of Canadian women

The Accra High Court has remanded six suspects believed to have been involved in the kidnapping of two Canadian women in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi.

The six suspects are to reappear in court on July 1, 2019.

The six who were put before the court today included the three Nigerians who were initially apprehended; Sampson Aghalor, Elvis Ojiyorwe and Jeff Omarsar, and three Ghanaians, Yussif Yakubu, Abdul Nasir and Seidu Abubakari, also known as MBA.

They were charged with conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping.

The prosecution prayed the court to remand the suspects because the police were still investigating the case and will need time to complete investigations.

During the court proceedings, it emerged that the kidnappers had demanded $800,000 as ransom from the family of the women.

According to the facts read by the prosecution, sometime in March Sampson Aghalor a Nigerian struck an acquaintance with Yussif Yakubu who is Ghanaian and later became friends. During one of their conversations on how to make money, the people discussed kidnapping as an option which they later agreed to carry out.

Sampson Aghaloris said to have then assisted Yussif Yakubu to purchase a pistol for the crime. He is also alleged to have also gone to Nigeria in furtherance with the plan to recruit two other people Elvis Ojiyorwe and Jeff Omarsar.

The four people then held discussions on how to go about their plan. According to the prosecution, they then went ahead to rent a Toyota Corolla at a cost of four hundred Cedis.

Later that evening the four persons are said to have gone round in search of victims and came across the two Canadians, Lauren Patricia Catherine Tilley, 19, and Bailey Jordan Chitty, 20, who were in Kumasi as part of a school internship and were working with Youth Challenge International, a Toronto-based non-profit organisation.

The two girls were later accosted by the four in front of their hostel and kidnapped. They were sent to an uncompleted building at Kenyasi Krobo where they were kept.

The four accused are also said to have smeared blood all over the victims and on the ground, took pictures and forwarded them to their families.

The leader of the gang Sampson Aghalor then contacted the families of the two girls demanding eight hundred thousand dollars as ransom.

On the 11th of June, National Security, acting on the intelligence they had gathered, went to the hideout of the kidnappers to rescue the girls.

The prosecution said during the rescue, the kidnappers exchanged gunshots with the security personnel and threatened to kill the girls if they did not retreat. After several hours the four people were arrested.

They are reported to have later mentioned the names of Abdul Nasir and Seidu Abubakari as being part of the plot.

The case has been adjourned to the 1st of July.