Crime & Punishment of Wed, 31 Jan 20187
2 cop killers convicted
Twelve persons, who were arrested for their alleged roles during the raid of the Kwabenya Police Station leading to the death of a police officer on duty, have been arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court.
A group of six armed men raided the police station last week to free seven inmates from cells, killing Inspector Emmanuel Ashilevi in the process.
Twelve persons have since been arrested in connection with the attack and have been put before the court.
They are facing five counts of possessing firearms without lawful authority, abetment to possessing firearms, conspiracy to commit crime, to wit: escape from lawful custody, escape from lawful custody and abetment to escape from lawful custody.
Ten of the suspects pleaded not guilty to all the charges, while Prince Osei aka Bebe and Atta Kwadwo pleaded guilty to escape from lawful custody and abetment to escape from lawful custody charges.
They were convicted on their own pleas but the court, presided over by Aboagye Tandoh, deferred the sentencing to February 13, 2018.
Lawyers for some of the accused persons agreed with the prosecution that investigations are still ongoing and so they would not apply for bail.
Counsel for Nancy Denta – who has been accused of passing on a mobile phone to the suspects while in police cells – indicated that he wanted bail for his client, but the court asked him to apply formally.
The prosecution, led by Superintendent of Police Kwaku Bempah, told the court that the state is not pursuing the charges of possessing firearms and abetment to possessing firearms proffered against Prince Osei and Prince Kofi, as it had to consult the Attorney General (AG) before it proceeds.
The judge, therefore, ordered the state attorneys to take the necessary steps to consult the AG on the way forward so that the police could complete their investigations before the next adjourned date.
The facts of the case as presented by the prosecution, led by Superintendent of Police Kweku Bempah were that the complainants are policemen stationed at the Kwabenya District Headquarters.
Prince Osei, 25, is a scrap dealer living at Glefe Dansoman, while Atta Kwadwo, 20, is a driver and Kofi Darko, 25, is also a trader living at Glefe. Nancy is 28 and lives at Dome; George Yeboah is also 30 and lives around the Graphic Road.
He said Prince Kofi Acheampong is 32 and lives at Afienya; Edward is 20 and lives at Tema Newtown; Kofi Seshie is 28; George Sarbah is 23; Elvis is 31; George Asante is 33 and Theophilus is 25.
Prince Osei, aka Bebe, is a scrap dealer; Atta Kwadwo, driver’s mate; Kofi Darko, trader; Nancy Dentaa, 28, bread seller; George Yeboah, electrician; Prince Kofi Acheampong aka Nana Owuo, herbalist and Kofi Seshie, driver.
Superintendent Bempah told the court that on January 21, 2018, at about 1:30 am, a gang of six men planned to attack the Kwabenya Police Station to free their colleagues who were being held for various crimes.
He said executing their plans, the gangsters proceeded to the police station and two of them went inside under the pretext of reporting a case to the officers on duty.
He told the court that in the execution of their plan, the assailants, who pretended to have a complaint to lodge, entered the charge office and told the counter Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) that someone borrowed money from them and had refused to pay back.
The counter NCO No. 43225 G/Cpl. Robert Owusu advised them to seek redress at the civil court since the case they were reporting was a civil matter.
The two turned and signalled the rest, who had laid ambush in the premises, and launched an attack on the policemen at the charge office.
Superintendent Bempah narrated that the suspects shot Inspector Emmanuel Ashilevi, who was on duty as a monitoring officer and held the other police officers hostage.
He said they then took the keys to the police cells and released seven inmates – Chibuzor Akwuba, Emmanuel Kotey, Rockson Edem Dzidegbe, Dickson Ofori, Prince Osei, Atta Kwadwo and Kofi Darko.
The prosecutor said after the armed gang had left the police station, the officers took Inspector Ashilevi to the Police Hospital for treatment, but he was referred to the 37 Military Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Superintendent Bempah told the court that police intelligence led to the arrest of George Yeboah, who assisted Prince Osei and Attah Kwadwo with GH¢200 to flee the jurisdiction. He also gave GH¢40 to Kofi Darko to also escape.
He said police intelligence also led to the arrest of Prince Osei and Attah Kwadwo at Worawora in the Volta Region.
According to him, police investigations also revealed that on January 18, Prince Osei, while in detention, overheard Chibuzor Akwuba, Dickson Ofori and Rockson Edem Dzigbede – who are now at large – planning to escape.
He said Nancy Dentaa in the evening of January 18, 2018 brought a mobile phone to Dickson Ofori in the cells and he used the device to contact his gang members to attack the police station.
Prince Osei told the police that he stole a gun from Prince Kofi Acheampong and also revealed that Dickson and Chibuzor are Acheampong’s ‘boys’ whom he normally sends on robbery expeditions.
He said on January 27, 2018, Atta Kwadwo led police officers to a house at Kasoa Nyanyano and pointed out Kofi Seshie as one of the gang members who rescued them from custody and also identified him as the one who shot and killed Inspector Ashilevi.
Mr Bempah said further investigations also revealed that it was Acheampong, in collaboration with Dickson and Chibuzor, who sent the armed men to attack and release them from the cells.
On January 25, at about 0200 hours, Acheampong was arrested together with Edward, from their hideout at Afienya in the Greater Accra Region.