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18.10.2005 Crime & Punishment

Drama at Ataa Ayi trial

Listen to article accused identifies accomplice Accra, Oct.17, GNA - The trial of Ayi Aryeetey, aka Ataa Ayi, on Tuesday took a dramatic turn when Nana Yaw Owusu, an accomplice, identified a man from the crowd as their accomplice who supplied them with fake number plates during their robbery.
The man, known as Ibrahim Farrouk, a "goro" boy loitering at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), had accompanied a relative to the Court in a civil case when the incident occurred. Owusu, who had earlier on pleaded guilty to conspiracy and robbery is waiting sentence.
Farouk, who is also a taxi driver, was in the crowd when the accused persons were escorted to the courtroom. Immediately Farrouk was pointed out, he was handcuffed by the police and taken away for interrogation.
Ataa Ayi and eight others on February 5, 2003 robbed a businesswoman of 65,000 dollars and 45 million cedis at Taifa Junction. Detective Inspector John Kingsley Duah mounted the witness box to testify when trial resumed on Tuesday after a three-month legal vacation by the judiciary.
Led by Mr. Asiamah Sampong, a State Attorney, Detective Inspector Duah said he got know Nana Yaw Owusu, Frederick Lamptey Annan, alias Nunnboe, and Yaw Asante Agyekum, alias Akpo, when he was asked to investigate robbery charges against them on February 13, 2003. Detective Duah said when he interrogated Owusu, Lamptey and Agyekum they mentioned the others in the trial as their accomplices. The detective said Owusu told him that the robbery took place at Taifa, near Saint John's Junction.
He said Lamptey told him that he met the accused persons at Bukom Park where they planned to rob the complainant.
The Detective Inspector said Lamptey further indicated that Ataa Ayi and Sammy Tugah used a motorbike to trail the complainant from Rawlings Park to Taifa while the rest of them used the car of Samuel Kweku Annan, aka Sammy Tugah.
He said Lamptey told him that Sammy Tugah and Ataa Ayi crossed the complainant with their motorbike while the rest of them who were in a car stopped after Akpo had distributed guns to them.
According to the Detective Inspector, Lamptey indicated that Ataa Ayi had his own pistol, which he used during the operation.
Detective Duah said Akpo, however, denied the offence. Mr. J. K. Yeboah, a counsel, who held brief for Dr. Kweku Nsiah, Lamptey's lawyer objected to the tendering of Lamptey's caution statement, saying, "My client normally signs but he does not thumb print."
The trial judge Mr. Justice Baffoe Bonney upheld the objection and ordered that Lamptey's fingerprints should be taken at the court's registry and forwarded to the Police Forensic Laboratory for examination.
In a cross-examination, Detective Inspector Duah told the court that he interrogated Owusu, Agyekum and Lamptey at the Regional Criminal Investigation Department.
Ataa Ayi and eight others on February 5, 2003 robbed a businesswoman of 65,000 dollars and 45 million cedis at Taifa Junction. 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. The case was adjourned to October 20.