General News of Wed, 11 Apr 20181
Kwabenya fugitives: I feared for my life - Prosecution witness
The second prosecution witness in the case in which some armed men freed inmates at the Kwabenya Police Station after an attack on the station, killing a Police Officer on duty, has told the court she feared for her life and so did not look at the faces of the culprits.
Lance Corporal Samira Mohammed said on the day of the incident she could not look straight at the faces of the culprits because one was pointing a gun at her whiles another stood in front of her.
“I can easily identify the one who came to lodge the complaint that evening, as the one who was standing in front of me, but I cannot recognise all of them.”
She made this assertion during cross examination after she had ended her evidence in chief.
During her evidence in chief the witness told the court that she lives at Atomic but stationed at the Kwabenya District Police Headquarters, adding that before the incident she knew Nancy, as a seller at the station but not the other accused.
She said on January 21, she was on duty with her station Non Commission Officer (NCO) Lance Corporal Robert Owusu and their armed guard Nimo Patrick, and an investigator by name Bosompim Charles as well as the late Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Ashilevie.
She said around 0100 hours she together with Lance Corporal Robert Owusu were in the charge office when a gentleman came in to lodge a complaint, and left, but after 30 minutes she heard gunshots in front of the charge office.
The witness said some men then marched the late ASP Ashielevie into his office pointing a gun at him, and shot him in front of the charge office.
“After that, the one who came to lodge the complaint came to stand in front of me, while another stood beside me pointing a gun at me. The others went to the counter NCO and all I heard was, where are the cell keys”
Madam Mohammed said they opened the cell and all the inmates went out. The two who were standing in front of her pointing the gun at her took away her laptop and mobile phone, and then left.
She told the court that after some time they all came out and called an ambulance which assisted them to take the injured officer to the police hospital.
“I later wrote my statement.”
During cross examination, Counsel for Nancy Denta asked whether she knew his client because she sells around the station and she then answered in the affirmative. She said they normally buy bread from her and also admitted that with the assistance of the police officers some inmates at the cell are able to buy bread from her.
She said Nancy has been selling bread over there for more than three years and also she never saw her at the station on the day the incident took place.
Counsel for Elvis Owusu and Theopilus Bandah, Mr Dela Blagoji asked how long the witness has been in the service and she said five years.
When asked how many people she saw at the time of the incident Madam Mohammed said she could not count them although they were not masked adding that Elvis and Theopilus were not part of the ones she saw.
Counsel for George Asante, Mr Augustine Gyamfi asked whether with her five years’ experience she could identify the one who stood in front of her and the one who pointed the gun at her, but she told the court that she could only identify the one who came to lodge the complaint but not the other one.
When asked whether George was part of the culprits she answered that she did not look at their faces because the gun that was pointing at her and she feared for her life.
Counsel for Kofi Seshie, and George Sarbah, Mr George Asamani said he had nothing to ask the witness, while Prince Osei, George Yeboah, Prince Kofi Acheampong, and Edward Lartey who were not represented by any counsel, also told the court they had nothing to ask the witness.
The witness was accordingly discharged. The prosecution said they have three more witnesses to call and they are to present their next witness on the next adjourned date.
The case has since been adjourned to April 13.
The facts of the case as presented by Prosecution led by Superintendent of Police, Kweku Bempah were that, the complainants are Policemen stationed at Kwabenya District Police station.
Prince Osei, 25, is a scrap dealer living at Glefe Dansoman; Atta Kwadwo, 20, is a driver; and Kofi Darko, 25 also a trader living at Glefe, Dansoman. Nancy is 28 and lives at Dome; and George Yeboah is 30 and lives around the Graphic Road.
Prince Kofi Acheampong is 32 and lives at Afienya; Edward Lartey 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.
Mr Bempah said on January 21, at about 0130 hours, a gang of armed men numbering six planned and attacked the Kwabenya Police station and freed their colleagues who were being held in detention for various violent crimes.
He told the court that in execution of their plan, the assailants proceeded to the station whilst two of them who pretended to have a complaint to lodge, entered the charge office and told the counter Non-Commission 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 a redress at the civil court since the case they were reporting was civil matter, the two then signalled the rest, who had laid ambush within the premises, and launched an attack on the Policemen at the charge office.
The prosecution said they shot Inspector Emmanuel Ashilevi, who was on duty as a Monitoring Officer on the right buttocks, held the counter NCO, his counter orderly, the charge office guard, and the night investigator hostages.
He said they took the keys to the cells and released seven of the inmates, namely, Chibuzor Akwuba, Emmanuel Kotey, Rockson Edem Dzigbede, Dickson Ofori, Prince Osei, Attah Kwadwo, and Kofi Darko.
After the armed attack, the assailants fled the scene, the NCO and the night Investigator arranged for an ambulance and rushed Inspector Ashilevi to the Police Hospital for treatment, but they were referred to the 37 Military Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Mr Bempah told the court that, Police intelligence, led to the arrest of George Yeboah, who assisted Prince Osei and Attah Kwadwo with GH¢ 200.00 to escape out of the jurisdiction.
He also gave GH¢ 40.00 to Kofi Darko to enable him escape from the jurisdiction.
He said on January 23, Police intelligence led to the arrest of Prince Osei and Attah Kwadwo at Worawora in the Volta Region.
Investigations also revealed that whiles in detention, on January 18, Prince Osei overheard the other inmates planning to escape.
According to the Police, in the evening on the same day, Nancy brought a mobile phone to Dickson in the cells, which he used to contact his people outside to execute the escape plan.
Rockson’s brother also brought a hacksaw blade to him by hiding it in bread to cut the padlocks to the cells but he could not do so.
He said upon interrogation, Prince Osei, said he stole a gun from Prince Kofi Acheampong.
He also revealed that Dickson and Chibuzor are Acheampong’s boys whom he normally sends out on robbery trips.
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, which led to the death of the Inspector.
On January 25, at about 0200 hours, Acheampong was arrested together with Edward from their hideout at Afienya.
The prosecution said on January 27 at about 0230 hours, Attah led the Police to a house at Kasoa Nyanyano and pointed Kofi Seshie to the Police as one of the gang members who came to rescue them from the cells and also shot and killed the Inspector.
He said the rest are all suspected accomplices arrested to assist in police investigations.