By Helena Selby
A welder has been sentenced to Thirty years imprisonment in hard labour by an Accra circuit court for attempting to rob a taxi driver of his taxi cab at gun point.
The convict, Desmond Owusu and his accomplice, who is currently at large, are said to have hired the services of the taxi driver from Kasoa to Weija in the Central Region, as they attacked the driver with a cutlass and a gun in the course of the journey.
The taxi driver, who resisted and began to struggle with them, raised an alarm which resulted in the arrest of the convict, who was caught during a mob chase.
He pleaded guilty to the charge of attempt to commit crime before the court presided over by Mr. Francis Obiri, and was convicted on his own plea.
The underlining facts are that on July 2012, at about 10:00pm, the convict and his accomplice hired the complainant, who was in-charge of a Nissan Amera taxi cab with registration number GE 8595-12 from Kasoa to Weija.
The prosecutor, DSP Patrick A. Mokeh, told the court that on reaching a section of the road at S.C.C the convict and his accomplice pulled a gun and a cutlass on the complainant and attacked him to surrender the said taxi cab and any cash available to him.
He said the complainant resisted and struggled with them, and was subjected to severe beatings. However, notwithstanding the attack, he raised an alarm, where neighbours of the area came to his aid.
He stated that the convict, who was then holding two cutlasses and his accomplice, sensing danger, attempted to take to their heels but luck eluded him.
DSP Morkeh told the court that the convict was chased by the mob, arrested and later handed over to the police, together with the two cutlasses, adding that during investigation, he mentioned one 'BB' as his accomplice, but failed to help the police trace him.
Meanwhile, an Accra Circuit Court has remanded into custody a trader and a cobbler for allegedly possessing six parcels of dried leaves suspected to be cannabis sativa, a narcotic drug.
The accused persons, Joseph Kwame Boso and Reuben Nakorli allegedly conspired to transport the said Indian hemp from the Eastern Region to Accra, for a business transaction.
The second accused person, who was in possession of the suspected drug, was arrested by the police, when he was waiting for the prospective recipient at a location near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, a suburb of Accra.
However, upon his arrest, Nakorli mentioned the first accused person as his accomplice.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy to commit crime and possessing of narcotic drugs before the court presided over by Mr. Francis Obiri. They have been remanded into custody to re-appear before the court on August 7, 2012.
Presenting the facts of the case to the court, the prosecutor, DSP Patrick A. Morkeh told the court that on July 17, 2012, Boso and Nakorli went to a village near Boti Falls in the Eastern Region and bought half bag of dried leaves, suspected to be Indian hemp, and wrapped same into six parcels.
He said on July 8, 2012, the first accused person gave the second accused person money for transportation, a cell phone number and instructed him to send the said suspected Indian hemp to a customer in Accra.
According to him, Joseph Kwame Boso directed Reuben Nakorli that on reaching Accra, he should board a taxi and dial the number given to him for the taxi driver to talk to the receiver for directions.
He mentioned that the second accused person on reaching '37', a suburb of Accra, from Nkruakan, boarded a taxi and complied with what the first accused person had instructed him to do.
'The receiver of the phone call directed the taxi driver to drive to Las Palmas restaurant, near Kwame Nkrumah Circle, a suburb of Accra.
On their arrival, the second accused person's phone went off, so he removed his SIM card and placed it in the taxi driver's phone and dialed the number again, and the receiver promised contacting them', the prosecutor told the court.
According to him, Reuben Nakorli and the taxi driver waited for more than 45 minutes but the receiver did not show up, adding that they were waiting when the police came to arrest the second accused person.
DSP Morkeh mentioned that the first accused person in his cautioned statement admitted the offence but stated that, it was the second accused person, who introduced him to that business and that there is a lot of profit in it hence his involvement.
The prosecutor noted further that the second accused person ha indicated in his caution statement that he was only sent by the first accused person to deliver the stuff to his customers in Accra.
DSP Morkeh told the court that investigation was on-going and that the exhibit would be forwarded to the crime laboratory for examination.