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01.10.2008 Crime & Punishment

Robber cops remanded in prison custody

By The Statesman

Two policemen were on Monday remanded into prison custody by an Accra Circuit Court for robbery related offences.

The two, Corporal Emmanuel Mawuli Awadzie and Corporal Solomon Awudu, stationed at Adenta and Madina Police stations respectively, are being charged with two counts of offences including conspiracy to rob and robbery. Corporal Mawuli Awadzie is on a UN Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia and return recently to Accra.

They have both pleaded not guilty to all the charges and consequently remanded to prison custody by the court to reappear on October 11.

The two policemen are alleged to have threatened and assaulted one Sylvester Osei Gyamfi to rob him of an amount of GH¢25,000.00.

Presenting the facts of the case to the court, the police prosecutor ASP Agyemang, said the complainant in the case is a student residing at a suburb of Madina known as Akatsi Abor.

He told the court that on September 4, 2008, the two policemen were at a spot at Madina when an informant hinted them that the complainant in the case, Sylvester Osei Gyamfi, and two others had allegedly succeeded in defrauding a certain expatriate to the tune of US$75,000 through the internet.

According to the police prosecutor, on receipt of this information both accused persons and their informant attempted to intercept and arrested Osei Gyamfi later on in the day when they spotted him at Madina driving a VW Passat Saloon car with registration number GR9791Z but failed.

ASP Agyemang said the informant managed to locate the residence of the complainant and on September 10, between 11pm and 12 midnight both the accused persons and their informant decided to proceed to his house and arrest him without making any entries in their respective stations diaries.

He said that night Corporal Solomon Awudu who was on duty at Deas and D ventures at Ashalley Botwe deserted his duty point with his service riffle and joined his colleague and the informant to the complainant's house.

The accused persons drove to Agbogba Police Post and requested one Corporal Wisdom Hormeku, who was on duty at the charge office to assist them effect the arrest of Osei Gyamfi. According to ASP Agyemang, Corporal Hormeku unsuspecting of any hidden agenda by the accused persons, obliged, but made entry in the station's diary.

He said when the four men got to the complainant's house; the informant pointed out the complainant's room and went to hid a distance away. The accused persons knocked at the complainant's window and told him to come out, but when he refused despite repeated demands the policemen kicked his door open.

Corporal Solomon Awudu was alleged to have given the complainant some slaps and snatched his phone which he was using to make a call. He also took possession of all the phones of the complainant and his fiancée Sadia Abubakari, who was in the room.

They handcuffed the complainant and told him to bring out all his money. When he failed to comply, one of the policemen ransacked his room in search of the money. When it became apparent that he did not have the money on him, the policemen parked his computer and its accessories into his car and put him in it.

They then asked Corporal Hormeku to return to his post at Agbogba. They were alleged to have later on threatened him with death if he failed to show them were he has kept the money. For fear of his life, the complainant told the policemen that it was his fiancée that keeps the money in her sister's room at Madina Zongo. They sent the complainant back to pick the fiancée and told her to quietly go for the money from her sister's room.

Upon taking possession of the GH¢25,000.00, the accused persons removed the handcuffs of the complainants, threw his car key at him and sped off. The complainant lodged a complaint with the Madina police and gave the description of the accused persons which led to the arrest of Corporal Solomon Awudu.

He admitted the offence and stated Corporal Mawuli Awardzie as his accomplice. He refunded GH¢2,000.00 which he claimed was his shares of the booty.

The prosecutor told the court that Corporal Mawulie Awardzie on hearing of the arrest of Corporal Awudu went into hiding in Liberia. But word was sent to Liberia and he was arrested and brought back. He also admitted the offence but indicated that they collected only GH¢9,000.00 from him and not GH¢25,000.00.

He also told the police that he took only GH¢500.00 of the money and allegedly gave GH¢3,000.00 to the informant and the rest to Corporal Awadu for safekeeping.