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15.01.2011 Crime & Punishment

Hunchback On Robbery Spree - Gets 25 Years Jail Term

By Ekow Yamoah - Daily Graphic
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Exactly two days before the Yuletide, a hunchback armed robber, Justice Annan, described by the police as one of the notorious criminals who terrorise residents of Kasoa and its environs, was finally jailed 25 years by the Agona Swedru Circuit Court.

Annan, also known as Kwame Annan, 26, failed in his bid to battle with the robbery charge levelled against him for the past 18 months and was eventually found guilty and convicted and has started his jail term with hard labour.

Annan and an accomplice, now on the run, reportedly hired a cabbie, John Tachie, from the Obetsebi-Lamptey Circle in Accra to the outskirts of Gomoa Akwamu in the Gomoa East District of the Central Region where they slashed the throat of the driver with a knife and left him unconsciou. Taking him for dead, they sped off with the taxi.

Two years later, fate made it possible for the victim to come face to face with Annan at a taxi rank in Swedru, where Annan showed signs of panic, thinking he had seen a ghost, and attempted to run away.

Tachie, however, got him arrested and prosecuted for his criminal deed.

Pronouncing judgement on December 23, 2010, the presiding judge, Mr Nat K. E. Osam, stated, “I find that the prosecution has proved its case against (Annan) beyond reasonable doubt and convict him accordingly.”

Annan, who is facing two similar charges before the same court, was granted a GH¢24,000 bail with three sureties. But because of the two other charges, he had to go back to prison custody until the adjourned date.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the three robbery charges.

Narrating the facts of the case, Chief Inspector Kofie said about 7 p.m. on December 3, 2008, Agona Nkum-based Annan and another, now at large, asked Tachie to drive them from the Obetsebi-Lamptey Circle in Accra to Agona Swedru in the Central Region to enable them to escort their KIA truck that was carrying some lumber.

They settled on a fare of GH¢50 and they set off in Tachie’s taxi.

On their arrival in Swedru, however, the two asked Tachie to take them to Gomoa Afransi. On reaching Afransi, they told him to branch to the right and drive on to Gomoa Ankamu.

At the outskirts of Akwamu, however, Annan’s accomplice held Tachie by the scruff of the neck and tied him to the seat with a rope and then used a knife to slash his throat before ordering Annan to ‘be fast in action’.

The prosecutor said Annan pulled Tachie out of the taxi and began to stab him on the neck until he fell unconscious. The robbers then left Tachie on the ground, with the knife still stuck in his neck, and drove off with his cab, taking him for dead.

A while later some people from Akwamu found Tachie in a pool of blood and rushed him to the nearby Gomoa Oboase Police Station and from there to the Swedru Central Police Station, where the officers sent Tachie to the Swedru Government Hospital.

Chief Inspector Kofie said Tachie was admitted to the hospital for some time before he was discharged, adding that it was after surviving that ordeal and regaining his health that Tachie went to Swedru, spotted Annan there and caused his arrest.

Annan and his gang had been using almost the same mode of operation to snatch taxis hired from Accra and elsewhere, sometimes killing their victims.

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