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07.06.2005 Crime & Punishment

Witness testifies in Ataa Ayi's case


Accra, June 7, GNA - An Accountant of Prism Consult on Tuesday narrated to an Accra Fast Track High Court how he was warned by an alleged robber to flee or lose his life when his office was invaded by robbers at Dworwulu.

Testifying in a case in which Aryee Aryeetey, alias Ataa Ayi, and three others are standing trial for conspiracy and robbery, Mr Daniel Odei said he was scared, as the robbers shot indiscriminately in the air announcing to people around to flee the scene.

Ata Ayi, Roger Koblah Agbodoga and Raymond Ameh Samuel Kweku Annan, pleaded not guilty and are in prison custody.

Led in evidence by the prosecution, Mr Odei said on October 14, 2003, he was in the office when his boss, Mr Boadi Agyemang signed a cheque of 70 million cedis and gave it Mr Iliasu Mamudu to cash. Mr Odei said his boss further asked Mr Iliasu to board a taxi to the bank.

"My boss further told Mr Illiasu that I would pick him after he had cashed the money."

Mr Odei, who is the third prosecution witness, said some hours after Mr Iliasu had left he took the company's car so that he could pick him.

While driving out from the office Mr Odei said he saw Mr Iliasu in a private car with another vehicle following them to their office premises.

He said Annan who was then driving the vehicle, which trailed Mr Iliasu to office, got off the car and put on a mask. The prosecution witness said soon after he pulled a pistol from his pocket and ordered him to run for his life. Mr Odei said he took refuge at a communication centre from where he managed to call his boss at their office and informed him about the incident.

He said his boss told him that he had seen robbers and had seen what was going on outside the office. The witness said he later returned and found out that the car, which brought Mr Iliasu to the office, had been destroyed with gun shoots.

Mr Odei said he later gave his statement to the police and identified Annan at the Accra Regional Police Station when he (Annan) was arrested.

Answering questions under cross-examination by defence counsel, Mr Odei denied that he was assisted by a Police officer when he identified Annan.

He explained that when he got to the Police station, he entered a room where Annan was seated adding, "I saw Annan from behind but I was shocked to see him."

Mr Odei said when the police asked why he was amazed, he told the police that Annan had pointed out a gun at him on the day of robbery. This, Mr Odei said, Annan confirmed before the police. The case was adjourned to July 4.

The case of the Prosecution is that on October 14, 2003, Mr Bernard Boadi Agyeman, Managing Director of Prism Consult Limited, sent Mamudu, to cash 70 million cedis from the Opeibea Branch of the Standard Chartered Bank, near Kotoka International Airport. The prosecution said after cashing the money, which was put in a bag, Mamudu saw Mr Isaac Yanney, Managing Director of Investhec Company Limited, who said he had an appointment with his boss (Mr Boadi Agyeman) at his office at Dzorwulu.

Mr Yanney, therefore, offered Mamudu a lift in his car and the money was put into the boot.

On their way to the Office, the accused persons, who were using a salon car, trailed them until they got to the office at Dzorwulu. The prosecution said as soon as they parked their vehicle, the accused persons parked behind them, got off their car and started shooting indiscriminately.

The accused persons ordered their victims and other bystanders to flee or risk being shot.

The prosecution said the accused persons fired several times at the boot to force it open, took the bag containing the 70 million cedis and fled.

On December 18, 2003 Sammy Tugah and Agbodoga were arrested upon a tip-off and during interrogation mentioned Ameh and Ata Ayi as their accomplices. 07 June 05