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04.07.2005 Crime & Punishment

Ata Ayi's accomplice pleads guilty


Accra, July 4, GNA - Nana Yaw Owusu, an accomplice of Aryee Aryeetey, aka Ata Ayi, believed to be involved in various robberies, on Monday changed his plea of not guilty to guilty when he appeared at an Accra Fast Track Court.

In his explanation to the court, Nana Yaw alleged that the Police had beaten the original Ata Ayi to death.

Nana Yaw, who mentioned his accomplices as Razak, Ata Ayi, Stephen and Joe, a driver, said none of them had been brought to court. Nana Yaw admitted robbing Madam Dora Kumi but denied that he committed the offence with accused persons standing trial with him. The court, therefore, took his plea again and deferred his sentence until the end of the trial.

Owusu, Ata Ayi and seven others are standing trial for robbing a businesswoman of 65,000 dollars and 45 million cedis at Taifa Junction on February 5, 2003. The accomplices include Nana Yaw Owusu, Yaw Asante Agyekum, Stephen Nyarko, Frederick Lamptey Annan, alias Nunnboe and Kwabla Agbodoga. The others are Samuel Kweku Annan, Raymond Ameh and Nana Osei Razak.

They have all pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and robbery. According to him Kofi Owusu, alias Kofi Brokeman, a brother of the Madam Dora, who gave them a tip-off to facilitate the crime, had been let off the hook.

He said Kofi Owusu told him that he had a sister, who was selfish and wanted them to rob her.

Notwithstanding, the "confession", the Prosecutor Mr Asiamah Sampong of the Attorney General Department put in his witness Madam Dora.

Madam Dora identified Lamptey Annan, alias Nunnboe, Nana Yaw, Samuel Kweku Annan, alias Sammy Tugah and Ameh as the people, who robbed her at gunpoint at about 21 hours on February 5, 2003.

According to Madam Dora, on that day, she decided to travel to Cote d'Ivoire to purchase same goods but postponed the journey to the next day.

She said when she closed from work that day she went to the house with two of her workers.

"When we were about to get to Taifa, two persons on a motorbike crossed us and soon after a Hyundai car with seven occupants pulled up on the scene."

Madam Dora said the some of occupants, who were armed, wore masks and sunglasses, but others wore nothing on their faces.

The occupants of the Hyundai car threw her two workers out of her car, took boxes of biscuits, a box containing 45 million cedis and mobile phones.

She said Nuunboe pulled out a pistol and pointed it at her head and asked her not to move her car but bring out her 65,000 dollars. The accused persons who ordered them to lie down sped off with their booty.

She said she reported the matter to the Police and a week after the robbery Nana Yaw was arrested.

According to her Nana Yaw mentioned Ata Ayi, Razak, Sammy Tugah, Ameh and Eric Kaka as his accomplices.

Madam Dora admitted that Kofi Owusu was her brother, who was later discharged by a court, after he had spent sometime in custody. According to her Kofi Owusu had earlier on introduced Sammy Tugah to her as a friend.

In her cross-examination, Madam Dora denied that her story was untrue.

When asked to produce receipt on her stolen 65,000 dollars, which she had earlier bought at a forex bureau with more than 500 million cedis, she said the armed men took it away.

She admitted that there was no light at the scene but added that she could make Nunnboe out because he pointed the pistol at her and she looked at him very well.

Madam Dora admitted that she identified Nana Yaw at the Police station.

She said the rest of the accused persons were arrested after she had travelled outside.

According to her Nana Yaw admitted to the Police that he had 6,000 dollars from the booty and had only 2,950 dollars left at the time of his arrest.

Hearing continues on July 18.

Earlier, the Prosecution in the first case in which Aryee Aryeetey, alias Ata Ayi and three others are standing trial at the same court for robbing a firm of 70 million cedis at Dzorwulu in Accra three years ago was adjourned to July 18.

Ata Ayi's accomplices are Roger Koblah Agbodoga and Raymond Ameh Samuel Kweku Annan.

The four, who are jointly charged with conspiracy and robbery, pleaded not guilty.

When the case was called, the Prosecution told the Court that the investigator, who was to testify, was on peacekeeping duties in Sudan and they were making efforts to bring him back.

The Prosecution, therefore, prayed the Court for a two-week adjournment for them to bring down the investigator. Mr David Annan, who represented Ata Ayi said:" It appears the case of the Prosecution is at the verge of collapse and I will at the appropriate time urge the Court to dismiss the charges levelled against my client."

Mr J.K. Yeboah, who represented Sammy Tugah, stated that he would like the Prosecution to substitute the investigator with any Police Officer, who would only tender statements in court.