Thursday, February 28, 2013

Two policemen jailed 60 years

 February 12, 2013 (Front Page)

The Accra Circuit Court has sentenced two policemen to a total of 60 years’ imprisonment with hard labour for robbery.
Lance Corporal Reuben Addison and Constable Edward Opoku, who were stationed at the Achimota Terminal in Accra and Armoured Squadron Unit of the Ghana Police Service respectively, will serve 30 years each in prison.
The two, on February 7, 2011, attacked the complainant, Faisal Tahiru, at gun point at the Industrial Area in Accra, and made away with GH¢37,370, but the police managed to retrieve GH¢29,390 from them.
The court, presided over by Mr Francis Obiri, said Monday, “it is an undeniable fact that robbery is on the increase, and has become a national problem. It is more serious when the offence is committed by policemen.”
“The time has come for the court to deal with heinous crimes. This is the only way to protect our country,” the trial judge said, and pointed out that the prosecution had proven the guilt of the two policemen beyond reasonable doubt.
They had pleaded not guilty to two counts each of conspiracy and robbery, but were found guilty, convicted and accordingly, sentenced to 10 years each on the charge of conspiracy and, 30 years each on the charge of robbery.
Their sentences are to run concurrently.
Touching on the defence put up by the convicts, the court said their defence “not only lacked substance but is infantile,” adding, that their “denial is an afterthought.”
Tackling the convicts defence that the complainant, Tahiru, was a fake currency dealer, the court said, “if indeed he dealt in fake currency, why was he not sent to the nearest police station but landed at a refuse damp at Oblogo?”
The court concluded by stating that, the defence put up by the convicts was “contradictory” and consequently convicted them.
According to the facts of the case, Tahiru collected GH¢37,370 from his brother at Accra Central, on February 7, 2011 and hired a motorbike to conduct his business at Abeka in Accra.
While on the way, Tahiru received a telephone call to which the motorbike rider stopped for him to speak to the caller.
Moments later, a man wielding a pistol emerged and ordered Tahiru to surrender his bag, but before the complainant could utter a word, the two policemen, who were in uniform, arrived at the scene in a Nissan March saloon car.
The policemen and the pistol-wielding man, who is currently on the run, dragged the complainant and motorbike rider into the saloon vehicle, and sped off amid claims that they (policemen) were sending Tahiru and the motorbike rider, to the Achimota Police Station.
On the way, the motorbike rider was pushed out of the vehicle which later took a different course.
On reaching Oblogo, the vehicle’s engine ceased and as a result, Tahiru began shouting for help.
Tahiru’s shouts attracted persons who came to his rescue, and consequently, apprehended the convicts who later refunded GH¢29,390.
Story: Mabel Aku Baneseh
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