08.09.2004 Crime & Punishment

Court frees student accused of robbery

08.09.2004 LISTEN

Accra, Sept. 8, GNA - An Accra Fast Track Court presided over by Mr. Justice George A. Aryeetey on Wednesday acquitted and discharged a 22-year-old unemployed accused of robbing a trader of 7.5 million cedis at a gun point

He was freed for lack of evidence.

When the seven-member jury finally returned, they passed a unanimous verdict of not guilty on Master Godson Assibu, also called Fifi. After the Presiding Judge had summed up the evidence and gave direction and clarification, the jurors retired to consider the verdict. He was charged with two counts of conspiracy and robbery.

Pronouncing the judgement, Mr. Justice Aryeetey said: "I have also found you not guilty, I therefore, acquit and discharge you". Mr Justice Aryeetey noted that there were discrepancies in the evidence, which were conflicting.

If the 22-year-old student were to be found guilty, he would have been sentenced to a prison term of a minimum of 25 years. However, he spent two years in the Medium Security Prison at Nsawam, where he was placed in custody.

His Counsel, Mr. Osei Anto Bonsu expressed his gratitude to the court saying, "My Lord, Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, permit me to say that we are grateful."

Master Assibu looked cheerful during the judgement.

The case for the prosecution is that at about 7.15 pm on August 31, 2002, the complainant, Mr. Charles Akomaning, a trader was driving home from Accra to Madina with his family after the close of business. He had on him, 7.5 million cedis and a money counting machine, valued at 10 million cedis.

When he reached the entrance of his house at Madina and was alighting from the car, six armed robbers suddenly attacked him and Master Assibu, who was accused to be a member of the gang, allegedly pointed a gun at the complainant's wife, one Mrs Freda Akomaning and threatened to kill her if she shouted for help.

The armed robbers then entered the car and made away with the money and the counting machine.

Mr Akomaning and witnesses in the case claimed they saw Master Assibu and so they were able to recognise him when the area was later combed for the culprits. On the following day, they saw him, arrested and handed him over to the police.

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