Saturday, February 8, 2014

Kombian back in the dock for murder

 February 8, 2014 (Page 24/25)

 FLASHBACK: Johnson Kombian being escorted by prison wardens  to court FLASHBACK: Johnson Kombian being escorted by prison wardens to court
The notorious robber, Johnson Kombian, who once broke jail and suffered penalty for it, has been accused of murdering two policemen.
Kombian is facing two counts of murder and one count of conspiracy.
The Fast Track High Court, which was billed to hear the case yesterday, adjourned proceedings to March 4, 2014 because the accused person was absent.
The presiding judge, Mr Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh, directed officials of the Ankaful Prison in Cape Coast to bring the accused person to court on the next adjourned date.
A Chief State Attorney, Mr Anthony Rexford Wiredu, had prayed the court to adjourn proceedings to enable the prison officers to produce Kombian at the next hearing.

Nature of Offence
 Kombian, alias Garkun (meaning “death fears”), and his accomplices, who are currently on the run, are alleged to have ambushed three policemen on October 17, 2010 and succeeded in killing two of them.
The deceased are Constable Prince Agyare and Constable Owusu Frimpong.
The third policeman, Corporal Osei Bonsu, who sustained gunshot wounds, survived.

Facts of the case
The facts of the case are that Kombian allegedly conspired with his friend, Kofi Naaman, alias Accra Boy, to rob Djato Mathias and then attempted to kill him.
Kombian was arrested, tried and sentenced to serve six years in prison by the Circuit Court in Tamale but he escaped while serving his jail term

Nakpanduri Terror
According to the prosecution, Kombian sought refuge at Nakpanduri in the Bunkprugu Yunyoo District in the Northern Region, which happened to be his home town.
On October 17, 2010, the accused person and his accomplices received information that a number of policemen had been detailed to perform duties at the Nakpanduri Scarp.
Suspecting that the policemen had been assigned to pick him up, Kombian and his friends, who were also labelled as notorious robbers by the prosecution,  ambushed and attacked the three policemen.
They allegedly fired gunshots at the deceased policemen who were then on a motorbike. The policemen fell into a 10-metre long valley in the process.
The accused person and his group continued to fire sporadically into the valley, with the hope of killing the policemen, who also retaliated with occasional gun fire.
Agyare made a distress call while firing back at Kombian and his gang from his hide out.

More fire
After 30 minutes of firing, Kombian and his gang stopped, and on realising that the gunshots had ended, Agyare and his colleagues mistakenly thought their attackers had left. They, therefore, came out of their hideout and were subjected to more gun fire.
Help finally came for Agyare and his colleagues while Kombian and his accomplices bolted. The wounded policemen were conveyed to the Nalerigu Hospital but Agyare was later pronounced dead.
Frimpong died later, while Bonsu was transferred to the Police Hospital in Accra where he was treated and discharged.

The escape
Kombian escaped to Togo after the incident but he was later picked up by the Togolese authorities and handed over to the Ghanaian authorities.
The accused person was convicted by the Circuit Court, presided over by Mr Justice E. Kyei-Baffour, and sentenced to serve five years’ imprisonment for escaping from lawful custody.
The accused person, who is currently serving an 11-year jail term, was subsequently put before the District Court which committed him for trial at the Fast Track High Court.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Student to be sentenced - for posting nude pictures of fiancee on Facebook

The student who posted nude pictures of his fiancée on Facebook in retaliation for being jilted by her wept uncontrollably at the Circuit Court in Accra last Wednesday, February 5, 2014.
Henry Alibah pleaded guilty to the offence and wept as his lawyer implored the court to have mercy on him.
His tears did not evoke any sentiments in the trial judge, who reminded him that emotions did not come to play in the law.
That reminder, nonetheless, did not stop him from shedding more tears.
He will be sentenced on February 18, 2014.

Snippets of offence

The accused person, who posted the nude pictures of his former fiancée on Facebook on November 25, 2013, added the caption: “Porn star, pay and f**k.”
He then proceeded to attach his former fiancee’s mobile phone number to the uploaded picture for interested persons to call.
He was first arraigned on January 22, 2014, and a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf by the court, presided over by Ms Ellen Vivian Amoah.
Counsel for Alibah, Mr Gad Cobbinah, told the court at its sitting in Accra last Wednesday that his client had showed remorse and would, therefore, not repeat that act again.
According to counsel, the accused person had apologised to the complainant, her family and the respective schools they both attended.
Mr Cobbinah stated that his client was a first offender and, therefore, averted the court’s mind to the fact that the law allowed either the imposition of a fine or a bond to be of good behaviour as punishment for Alibah’s offence.

The charge

According to the prosecution, Alibah committed the offence at Mamprobi in Accra after his 10-minute ultimatum to the complainant to rescind her decision to leave him had lapsed.
He has been charged with causing emotional, verbal or psychological abuse, contrary to Section 1 (b) (iv) and Section 3 (2) of the Domestic Violence Act 737/07.

Facts of the case

An Inspector of Police, Mr Kofi Atimbiri, told the court that the complainant was, for the past two years, the fiancee of the accused person.
However, the complainant called off the relationship three months ago via a telephone call but her decision infuriated the accused person, who insisted the relationship be continued.
According to the prosecution, Alibah had earlier called the complainant and warned her to return to him or have her naked pictures posted on Facebook.
On November 25, 2013, the accused person again called the complainant on phone and gave her 10 minutes to change her mind or have her naked pictures uploaded on Facebook.
He uploaded the pictures after the 10 minutes had lapsed and he had observed that the complainant was not prepared to return to him.
The complainant’s friends saw her naked pictures on Facebook and quickly drew her attention to the issue.
She later reported the matter to the police, resulting in the arrest of the accused person.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Case of 21 tilapia farmers - counsel to move for default judgement

 February 6, 2014 (page 56)

COUNSEL for the 21 tilapia farmers, who are claiming GH¢1,167,928 damages against the US Group of Companies for breach of contract, will on February 12, 2014, move a motion for the award of default judgement.
Following from the failure of the company to file its defense, lawyer for the plaintiffs, Ms Mary Ohenewaa Afful, will on that day move the motion for default judgement due to the company’s failure to put up a defense.
The matter came up for hearing at the Fast Track High Court in Accra today but the presiding judge, Mr Justice Daniel Mensah, adjourned it to enable the defendants to be served with the necessary documents.
The plaintiffs initiated the action at the Fast Track Division of the High Court in December 2013 for the recovery of GH¢1,167,928 being the company’s total indebtedness to them.
They are claiming interests at the agreed default rate of four per cent per month, legal costs and damages for breach of contract.
In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs, led by an Accra businessman, Mr Alexander Obuobi, said acting on the strength of the defendant’s representation and personal assurances of re-payment with exorbitant interests, they, on or about January 2012, invested money in defendant’s companies and provided all the necessary documentation to the defendant personally to enable them to profit from their various investments.
According to the plaintiffs, it was expressly agreed or alternatively implied by the course of dealings between the parties that the defendant would take steps to pay plaintiffs proceeds after the harvesting period and also after the duration of the loan agreement, either in bulk or individually.
Unfortunately, however, the plaintiffs said that the defendant had made no effort to settle its surrounding liability.

Terms of Agreement
According to the statement of claim accompanying the writ of summons, by the terms of agreement, the cost of a full cage was GH¢6,000.
That it said covered the construction of the cage and stocking it with 6,000 fingerlings of tilapia.
It said the cost of feeding for the first 12 months was GH¢7,020 at the current feeding fee of GH¢780 per month, adding up to a cost of GH13,020, adding that the amount covered the maintenance and any other matters related to the cage and its content for the first years.
Per the agreement, the investor would be subjected to feeding payments only after nine years, for which the cost would be communicated at the beginning of each period which currently stands at GH¢780 per month.
According to the statement, after the first 12 months, harvesting would take place every six months, meaning that investors would get double the total amount they got in the first year.
By the terms of the investment contract with the defendant, it was agreed that plaintiffs would enjoy interest of between 96 and 120 per cent over six to 12 months period and a four per cent default interest per month on any amount outstanding.
No payment
According to the statement of claim, when the dates for redeeming plaintiffs’ investments were due, neither their investment proceeds nor their principal was paid to them.
The defendant, it added, had, therefore, failed, ignored, neglected and or refused to pay the amount owed plaintiffs as of this date.
It said having regard to the defendant’s failure to honour its obligations, the Fidelity Bank cheques the defendant issued to the plaintiffs all bounced at the counter.
“Further, after several futile attempts to cash their monies at the bank, plaintiffs went to defendant’s offices but they were told to go home and await a text message. The text messages eventually arrived on their respective mobile phones promising the anxious investors/plaintiffs that they would be paid in October 2013. However, the company could not make do its promise to pay the investors in October 2013, leaving them in limbo,” the statement said.
It contended that, although, the defendant company remained indebted to the plaintiffs, it continued to hold itself out as a successful and profitable business entity opening supposed branches countrywide.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Court to decide on contempt case against Kofi Amoabeng (February 5, 2014 - page 43)

Kofi Amoabeng, CEO of UT Holdings Kofi Amoabeng, CEO of UT Holdings
The Financial Division of the High Court in Accra will on February 19, 2014 decide whether or not to cite the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a manager of UT Bank for contempt of court.
Capt Prince Kofi Amoabeng (retd) and the Manager of the Airport Branch of UT Bank risk jail terms or fines or both should they be found guilty of contempt       of court.
The applicant, Kayode Alade, is praying the court to imprison the CEO for failing to adhere to a December 20, 2013 court order directed at the bank to pay an amount of $391,250.
He wants them in prison until they purged themselves of contempt.
Arguments in court
Counsel for the applicant, Mr Charles Tetteh, moved the application for contempt and set out the cause why the respondents should be cited for contempt of court.
According to counsel, the respondents had demonstrated more than enough grounds to be cited for contempt.
But counsel for the respondents, Mr Chris Archer, held a different view and argued that the applicants had failed to show cause why his clients must be held liable for contempt of court.
He said the respondents had not exhibited any form of willful disobedience to the court to warrant their conviction for contempt.
In any case, counsel argued that there was not sufficient amount in the accounts. According to Mr Archer, the account of Auxesia was “near debit.”
The presiding judge, Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam, asked counsel what the bank did after realising that the account was near debit, to which counsel said the bank wrote to the court on that issue.
Mr Justice Ajet-Nasam then queried counsel if that was the appropriate thing to do, to which counsel conceded a motion should have been filed instead.
Affidavit of applicant
According to the applicant, his company rendered service to Auxesia Energy and a cheque dated April 4, 2013 was issued by Auxesia to the applicant’s company.
An affidavit in support of the applicant’s motion for contempt said EOCO froze the account of Auxesia Energy and secured a confirmation order to that effect from the court.
It said “before the orders of the court suspending payment and freezing of the said account, the interested party which I represent as its Designated Person Ashore (DPA) had rendered services to Auxesia Energy and issued with a cheque for payment.”
According to the applicant, his company could not access the account because it had been frozen and for that reason it applied to the court for a review of the freezing order and the subsequent payment of money owed by Auxesia Energy.
Court grants motion
Following the applicant’s request for a review of the court’s order, the Financial Division of the High Court, presided over by Mr Justice  Ajet-Nasam, reviewed its orders and directed the UT Bank to pay $391,250 to the applicant’s company with immediate effect.
“The order was served  the bank the same day but UT Bank, Airport branch, and its managing director have failed, refused and or neglected to pay the said amount as ordered by the honourable court,” the affidavit in support said.
A reminder notice, according to the applicant, was served the bank but the applicant did not receive the desired response.
That posturing, according to the applicant, amounted to “blatant disrespect to the court and the sanctity of the judicial system.”
The applicant said it had evidence to the effect that the company had more than $1 million at the time its account was frozen.
“By  that, UT Bank has evinced an attitude of contempt of the honourable court and ought to be dealt with under the cohesive arm of the law,” the applicant submitted.

Monday, February 3, 2014

University of Ghana begins collection of road tolls - Despite legal challenge to its action

  February 3, 2014 (page 32)

 • A taxi driver turning away due to his inability to pay the fare. • A taxi driver turning away due to his inability to pay the fare. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
The University of Ghana has begun the collection of road tolls despite a legal challenge to its action. Two students of the university have brought an action against the authorities in their capacity as Ghanaians praying the Supreme Court to stop the university from charging the said road tolls.
They are, accordingly, urging the highest court of the land to declare the action of the university as unconstitutional.
Ernest Victor Apau and Musah Mustapha, per their reliefs, are seeking the court to perpetually restrain the university and its agents from charging motorists who ply the university’s routes.
The university is being sued as an entity. Joined to the suit is the Attorney-General.
Reliefs being sought 
The writ, dated January 29, 2014 and filed on behalf of the applicants by Mr Egbert Faibille, a legal practitioner, came about as a result of the university’s plan to charge road tolls with effect from February 1, 2014.
The reliefs being sought by the applicants include a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 174 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, the road usage and user charges the university sought to introduce amounted to taxation.
A move by the university to exempt some of its members of staff from paying the road usage and user charges, according to the applicants, was in violation of Article 17 (1) (2) and (3) of the 1992 Constitution.
They also see that move as an abuse of discretionary powers and are, therefore, praying the court not to countenance it.
The applicants are arguing that the action of the respondents had violated Article 174 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, because the tolls were introduced without an Act of Parliament.
They are further praying the court to grant any other relief it (the court) deemed fit. A date is yet to be fixed for the hearing of the writ.
Toll payment
Meanwhile, the authorities began the collection of the tolls last Saturday, February 1, 2014 at four toll booths, resulting in heavy traffic at the university’s main entrances.
The booths have been mounted at the main entrance at Okponglo, Lingate, located on the Achimota-GIMPA road, TF, on the North Legon Road and the Banney Hostel, opposite the Presbyterian Secondary School.
Commercial drivers pay GH¢2 for entry and the same for exit, private car drivers including students pay GH¢1 and heavy duty trucks are made to pay GH¢3.
Students can, however, pay GH¢100 per month to avoid paying the daily toll.
Lecturers of the university and their dependents, senior staff members, personnel from the armed forces and the police service, as well as those from the fire service, are exempted from the tolls.
Many of the taxi drivers who plied the university’s routes paid the tolls amid protests, calling on the authorities to quickly reverse their decision in order not to have a negative effect on their work on campus.
According to them, if the issue was not addressed, they would be compelled to increase their fares.
Already the drivers who convey passengers to various parts of the campus for a previous fee of GH¢3 now charge GH¢6, while those who charged GH¢1 now take GH¢1.50 or GH¢1.70

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Jealous woman in court for killing 3

February 1, 2014 (Page 3)

Efua Badu - In police custody Efua Badu - In police custody
The woman who allegedly set her husband’s house ablaze, resulting in his death and that of two others, was yesterday arraigned before the Adjabeng District Court, charged with murder.
Distraught-looking Efua Badu, 33, was remanded in prison custody to reappear on February 17, 2014.
She was remanded by the court, presided over by Mr Isaac Addo, after the prosecution had prayed the court to remand her.
Her plea was not taken but she has nonetheless confessed to committing the offence.
The prosecution informed the court that investigations have been completed and for that reason, the docket on her case would be forwarded to the Attorney-General’s office for advice.
Members of the deceased’s family were in court to observe proceedings but Efua’s family members were absent.

Efua’s action resulted in the death of Peter Amos Asobayire, 35; his wife, Felicity Asobayire, 25, and their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Sarah Asobayire, who were burnt beyond recognition.
Efua, popularly known as Saman Kwenim, allegedly set fire to a can of kerosene and threw it through the window of the uncompleted abode of the family at Dome CFC at about 2 a.m. on Monday.
Two other occupants of the building, Tanko Asobayire, 28, and Michael Amanguri, 25, however, escaped unhurt as they were said to be sleeping in another room in the building.

Badu, a local restaurant (‘Chop bar’) operator, was said to have been married to Asobayire for seven years, during which period they had two children — a six-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl.
According to the prosecution, the Asobayire lived at Adome- Tantra Hill before his death, whilst the accused lived at Spintex Road at Flower Pot.
He added that all efforts by Asobayire to move Badu to live with him in his two-bedroom house at Tantra Hill had proved futile, and this caused a lot of misunderstanding between the couple.
This development, he said, compelled Asobayire to go in for a second wife, Felicity Asobayire, who had a two- and-a-half-year-old child, Sarah Asobayire.He said Peter Asobayire arrived with his new wife, Felicity, and the daughter, Sarah, from Navrongo the very night and met their untimely death.
Furthermore, he said Peter Asobayire broke the news to Badu that he had to go in for a second wife.
He indicated that the accused person, who could not cope with the shocking revelation, moved from Spintex Road to Tantra Hill at midnight, set the two bedroom on fire and had the three persons burnt to death.
A report, he said, was made to the police and upon intelligence, the accused was arrested.
The prosecution indicated that a caution statement was taken from the accused and she admitted setting the house on fire.

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Cop robbers remanded - they used official car to commit crime (February 1, 2014 - lead story)

Isaac Nimako Yeboah (left) and Robert Fening Amponsah Isaac Nimako Yeboah (left) and Robert Fening Amponsah
Two policemen who used an official vehicle to commit robbery were yesterday remanded in custody by the Accra Circuit Court.
General Lance Corporal Robert Fenning Amponsah and General Lance Corporal Isaac Nimako Yeboah allegedly committed the offence with two others who are currently on the run.
They have each pleaded not guilty to four counts of conspiracy and four counts of robbery and were remanded by the court, presided over by Mr Francis Obiri, to reappear on February 12, 2014.
The two were alleged to have acted together with General Lance Corporal Andrew Adu-Poku and one Bright, both on the run, to rob their victims in some parts of Accra between October 2013 and January 2014.

The three policemen are stationed at Communication National Protection and Formed Police Units, while Bright, according to the prosecution, is a “supposed informant”.
According to the prosecution, the police administration had been receiving complaints of some police officers perpetuating robbery against members of the public.
The report also indicated that the robbers used a marked police Nissan Patrol vehicle in the commission of the crime.
Based on intelligence report, Amponsah, who was the driver in charge of service vehicle with registration number GP 3517, was arrested for investigation.

Caution statement of Amponsah
Amponsah in his caution statement admitted to the offence and mentioned Yeboah and Adu-Poku as his accomplices.
His confession resulted in the arrest of Yeboah. According to the prosecution, Yeboah stated in his caution statement that he, together with Amponsah and Adu-Poku, robbed their victims of GH¢3,500 in the month of October and November, 2013.
Yeboah has, however, denied being part of the team that robbed victims last month January, 11 and 18, 2014.
In the course of investigations, it was revealed that the accused persons conspired to commit robbery by playing various roles.
The police vehicle with two number plates used by the policemenThe police vehicle with two number plates used by the policemenThe police vehicle with two number plates used by the policemenPer their alleged roles, Amponsah was expected to use the service vehicle with registration number GP 3517 meant to convey his commander to work as the vehicle the group would use whenever they were to embark on a robbery operation.
Yeboah, for his part, used service weapons assigned to him for official duties to join his accomplices whenever they embarked on illegal operations.
According to the prosecution,  Adu-Poku was responsible for the procurement of number plates for the robbery while Bright provided information on potential victims.
A different number plate for the operation was provided by Adu-Poku. The fake number plate was usually embossed on the original fixed number plate before they embarked on each robbery expedition.

It was established during investigations that the accused persons, on various days of robberies, went to the banks where their victims went to withdraw money sent to them by their relatives and friends.
After the victims had come out of the bank to board a taxi home, the accused persons trailed them and crossed them with the police vehicle and arrested them.
They allegedly told the victims that they (victims) were “fraud boys”.
The prosecution said the accused persons allegedly beat up and threatened to lock up their victims in police cells if the victims refused to part with their monies.
Victims who refused to comply with the orders of the accused persons to part with their monies had their moneys forcibly taken away.
They then dropped off their victims at any location and sped off.