Cape Coast, July 28, GNA - Drama unfolded in a high court at Cape Coast on Thursday, when 10 armed robbers who had been sentenced to a total jail term of 440 years, either sobbed or rained insults on court officials, claiming they were innocent, when their various sentences were announced. They are Kosi Agbelanyo, 38, Benjamin Kofie, 23, Nyimamah Etymbe 25, Adam Iddrisu, 27, Kwame Afful 27, Kwame Aboagye, 24 and Kweku Quaye, 27. The others are Samuel Quaye Mensah, Yaw Mensah Sampson and Kwame Nkrumah whose ages were not readily available. The 10 men, who pleaded not guilty, are said to have attacked and robbed various households in Cape Coast, Assin-Fosu, Twifo-Praso and Dunkwa-on-Offin, in 2002 and 2004.
Agbelanyo, Kofie, Etymbe and Iddrisu, were each sentenced to 50 years each for conspiracy to rob and robbery, Aboagye and Quaye, 45 years each, Afful 30 years, while Mensah, Nkrumah and Sampson, all had 45 years imprisonment each for similar offences. Passing sentence, Mr Justice Nana Gyamera Tawiah, the presiding judge, had expressed concern about the high rate of armed robbery in the country and stressed that the courts should help stem crime by passing deterrent sentences. He said the country must be rid of such people to enable their compatriots who have genuinely acquired wealth, live and enjoy it peacefully.
The case for the prosecution was that on October 14 last year, Agbelanyo, led Kofie, Etymbe and Iddrisu and one other man who is on the ran, to attack a house at Twifo-Praso, when they went searching for a popular wax prints dealer in the town. It said the five men who were wielding two AK 47 rifles, cutlasses, sticks and cement blocks attacked and robbed four tenants and their families, shot one of them and either slashed or beat the rest and robbed them of a total of 13,260,000 cedis.
The prosecution said one of the victims had two of his right fingers chopped off while his left wrist was almost severed, a nursing mother was slashed and her husband, shot and wounded. In the case involving Mensah, Sampson and Nkrumah, the prosecution said the three men attacked four lodgers at a hotel at Dunkwa-on -Offin in the early hours of June 5 last year. The three men who also had an AK 47 rifle and a cutlass, robbed one of the lodgers of an amount of 5,000 dollars and 2.3 million cedis cash, and another of 280,000 cedis, with all four being robbed of their mobile phones.
According to the prosecution, Quaye, also robbed an Anglican priest of 18 million cedis and 150 dollars and personal effects at Cape Coast in February 2002, Afful, a taxi-driver of his vehicle at gun-point in March 2002 and Aboagye, a petrol dealer at Assin Fosu in December last year, with three others on the ran, of 10.5 million cedis, a petrol measuring bottle worth 15 million cedis and a double-barrel gun.
It said, the local community watch committee arrested Agbelanyo and his group while the others were identified during an identification parade by their victims, following their arrests upon tip-off.