Crime & Punishment of 2014-04-23

Serial kidnapper jailed 8 years

A self-styled pastor, Ernest Abotsi, aka Selasi Koomson, who kidnapped three minors at some churches in Accra last year, was on Tuesday sentenced to eight years imprisonment by a Circuit Court in Accra.

Last year, Abotsi first kidnapped a10-year-old boy at the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), a nine-year-old at Light House Chapel International Church, North Kaneshie branch, on December 22, and another eight-year-old girl at Winner’s Chapel at North Industrial Area on December 8.

Charged with three counts of kidnapping, Abotsi pleaded guilty.

The court, therefore, sentenced him to eight years imprisonment on each of the charges. Sentences are to run concurrently.

An alleged accomplice who was jointly held on a charge of conspiracy to commit crime, Isaac Etifi, was, however, discharged by the court presided over by Sedina Agbemava.

According to the court, after listening to the facts of the prosecution, the court was of the view that the facts did not support the charge preferred against Etifi.

The court ordered that the GHc5,000.00 retrieved from Abotsi belonged to Mr. Kojo Spencer, a complainant, and should be refunded to him.

The facts as presented by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Agnes Boafo said the complainants Eric Don Arthur resides at East Legon, Mr. Spencer, Lashibi, and Madam Doris Boateng, Adenta.

On December 1, 2013, Abotsi went to ICGC, Abossey Okai branch, and kidnapped a 10-year-old boy and later called his father on the phone and threatened him to pay GHc2,000.00 so his son could be set free.

Abotsi collected GHc2,000.00 and directed the victim’s father to a place to take custody of his child.

At about 0700 hours on December 8, 2013, Abotsi went to Winners Chapel Church at North Industrial Area branch and kidnapped the second victim, an 8-year-old girl, and sent the victim to an unknown place in Accra and called the victim’s grandmother to pay a ransom of GHc3,000 cedis to him or else loose her granddaughter.

ASP Boafo said out of fear, the victim’s grandmother sent the money to Abotsi at a scheduled place at Darkuman and he later released the victim at a spot on the George Walker Bush highway near Hong Kong, who looked traumatized and stressed out.

On December 22, last year, prosecution said Abotsi kidnapped the third victim at Lighthouse International (Quodesh), North Kaneshie Headquarters, and repeated his conduct; this time, demanding GHc5,000.00 before he set the 9-year-old victim free and warned the complainant not to inform the police.

ASP Boafo said luck, however, eluded Abotsi when he directed the complainant to meet him at Official Town, Odorkor, and leave the money near an electricity pole.

During that time, the complainant had informed the Police and Abotsi was being monitored by plain cloth policemen. Efiti who was then passing by was asked by Abotsi to pick a polythene bag placed under an electricity pole and in the process of handing it over to Abotsi who was on a motorbike with registration number M-13-GE, he was arrested.

Later, prosecution said the complainant reported the matter to the Police and Abotsi in his cautioned statement admitted the offence.

Source: GNA
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