Five highway robbers who attacked and robbed travelers of their properties on the Mankranso-Tepa Highway in the Ashanti Region on May 20 this year have been sentenced to a total of 200 years imprisonment in hard labour.
The Kumasi Circuit Court, presided over by Mr. Emmanuel Amo-Yartey, yesterday convicted the five on charges of conspiracy and robbery, and accordingly condemned each of them to 40 years in hard labour.
While convicts Osman Abubakari, trader; Ali Mohoammed, unemployed; Mohammed Manu, herdsman; Abdulai Damba; and Shaibu Bukari, trader, headed for prison to begin their respective sentences, two others who were jointly charged with them were acquitted and discharged.
Hamidu Abdulai and Mazu Zakari walked free as witnesses in the case could not identify them as members of the gang who viciously assaulted passengers n the highway.
Facts of the case made available to the court by the prosecutor, Mr. Ernest Ayeh, State Attorney, were that the victims were on board vehicles from Achiase, Asuokor and Katapei and headed for Kumasi at dawn when they were interrupted by the torchlight signals of the robbers, who ordered them to stop.
Thinking that they could be policemen on duty, the drivers stopped, but were to be shocked when they found themselves surrounded by armed robbers wielding locally made pistols and machetes.
The robbers blocked the road with wood and robbed the passengers of their money, mobile phones and personal effects.
Fortunately for the victims, however, the Mankranso Police got wind of the ongoing attack and rushed to the scene, where they engaged in a fierce gun battle with the robbers.
The robbers then dashed into a nearby bush, but their escape effort did not last as villagers in the area helped the police to arrest the five who have eventually been jailed.
The two who have been freed were arrested later.