An Accra Circuit Court yesterday sentenced two persons to a total of 47 years’ imprisonment for robbing Bismark Boateng, the manager of the Bext Nascent Forex Bureau of his monies at Mpamprom, Kaneshie in Accra.
They are Yakubu Alhassan, 23, welder and Haruna Abdulai aka Borbor, unemployed.
The court, presided over by trial judge Aboagye Tandoh, last month slapped a 21-year jail term with hard labour on Borbor, who at the initial stages of the trial changed his plea from not guilty to guilty.
This compelled the court to have a full trial for Yakubu, who vehemently denied the charges of conspiracy to rob and robbery.
The duo and two others currently on the run are said to have at about 2:30 pm on March 23, this year robbed Bismark Boateng, the manager of the forex bureau of GH¢150,000 in both local and foreign currencies.
But the court found Yakubu guilty, indicating that the prosecution had been able to establish a case against him.
The judge noted that Yakubu was only interested in telling the court “Kwaku Ananse stories.”
Explaining further, Mr. Tandoh said the CCTV captured the robbery vividly.
He argued that one does not require a soothsayer or prophet to see that the convicts had a well rehearsed plan to rob, adding that “this was done to my admiration.”
The judge said Yakubu, who led a group of armed robbers, was detailed to initiate the action while Borbor, who was in charge of another group, told customers that the Forex Bureau could not attend to them at the time of the operation.
The trial judge, however, noted that the court could not tell whether there was contribution from any insider at the Forex Bureau, especially since that was not a matter before the court.
Mr. Tandoh said the accused persons did not deny the fact that they entered the Forex Bureau and that Yakubu had a gun on him.
He stated that the prosecution, led by Chief Superintendent Duuti Tuaruka, could not tell the specific amount of money the convicts took away from the Forex Bureau, stressing that the amount was in excess of GH¢58,000.
The convicts, who did not have lawyers, urged the court to deal leniently with them.
Yakubu said he should be given a lesser punishment so as to “learn sense.”
On his part, Borbor, who is already serving a 21-year jail term for robbery, he said he had lost both his parents and has nobody to take care of his kids.
In sentencing the duo, Mr. Tandoh noted that the court took into consideration the plea for mercy by the convicts.
The court said that in sentencing people who partake in group crimes, the person who played the key role must receive the harsher punishment and a lesser sentence for the person who played a minor role.
He said the court took into consideration the six months the accused persons had been in custody.
Mr. Tandoh accordingly sentenced the convicts to 22 years’ imprisonment each for the charge of conspiracy.
It also sentenced Yakubu to 26 years’ imprisonment for the charge of robbery.
The court ordered the destruction of the exhibits three months after the judgement under the supervision of the registrar of the court.
C/Supt. Tuaruka said on the said date, the convicts and the others on the run went to the Bureau under the pretext of doing business.
He said in the process, the convicts pulled a locally made pistol on Boateng and two others workers at the Bureau, took them hostage and made away with monies in the safe and drawer.
C/Supt. Tuaruka noted that after the robbery, a staff at the bureau raised an alarm and with the assistance of a police patrol team from Kaneshie and the people in the vicinity, the accused persons were arrested but the two others escaped.
He said when Yakubu and Haruna were being chased by the mob, they fired indiscriminately and in the process 14 persons sustained gunshot wounds and were rushed to the police hospital.
The senior police officer said due to the severe injuries sustained by Haruna, he failed to give his statement to the police.
Yakubu admitted the offence in his caution statement and mentioned Haruna as his accomplice.
He stated that GH¢58,000 and the locally-manufactured pistol were retrieved from Haruna and Yakubu.
– Daily Guide