Tuesday, January 19, 2010 (Page 31)
THREE of the four robbers who confessed to have committed a series of robberies leading to the death of a pastor of the Lighthouse Chapel International, Rev Peter Nii Addy, have been sentenced to a total of 51 years imprisonment with hard labour.
Kofi Yeboah, 30, Ebo Kwabena, 30, and Osei Prempeh, 23, were sentenced to 17 years on each count of conspiracy and robbery.
The court, presided over by Mr C. A. Wilson, sentenced the three on each count after they had pleaded guilty to the charges.
Prempeh pleaded guilty to an additional charge of rape and was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment. Their sentences are to run concurrently.
A fourth accused person, Yaw Asamoah, 30, who had on January 13, 2010 confessed to have committed several robberies in Accra, however, pleaded not guilty to new charges.
The court fixed February 4, 2010 as the date for hearing the robbery charges levelled against Asamoah.
Prosecuting, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Kofi Blagodzi, told the court that on December 30, 2009, the four, armed with pump action guns and machetes, stormed two houses at Gbawe Bulemin, a suburb of Accra, at dawn and made away with seven cellular phones, three DVD players and GH¢360.
Not satisfied with the booty, Prempeh entered the room of the victim (name withheld) in one of the robbed houses and brutally raped her.
On hearing of the incident, the police moved to the scene and observed that the convicts had operated in other neighbourhoods.
During investigations, the police managed to retrieve some of the items the convicts had stolen, arrested the sellers of those items and the sellers in turn assisted the police to effect the arrest of the four.
On January 13, 2010, Yeboah, Kwabena, Prempeh and Asamoah pleaded for forgiveness from God, Ghanaians, their victims and the family of the deceased pastor.
Reverend Addy, 26, who was the pastor in charge of the Enchi branch of the Lighthouse Chapel, was in Accra with his wife, who was six months pregnant, to attend the wedding of a colleague pastor and was due to return to his base in the Western Region on December 30, 2009 but met his brutal death at the hands of the robbers.
They were charged with seven counts of conspiracy, causing unlawful harm and robbery but they ended up confessing to murder in the court, presided over by Mrs Patience Mills-Tetteh.
The accused persons told the court that they did not want to waste the court’s time with a long trial and, accordingly, pleaded with the court to punish them severely.
Mrs Mills-Tetteh remanded them in prison custody to re-appear on January 21, 2010.
The four committed the offence in November and December 2009 and succeeded in robbing several houses in Accra, assaulted their occupants and made away with valuable items and cash.
The four, whose pleas were not taken, are also before another circuit court charged with the murder of Rev Addy.