An armed robber
An armed robber

Man arraigned for robbing Mrs Amissah-Arthur, others

In what can be described as the art of confident robbery, a man single-handedly exuded misplaced bravado and allegedly robbed many people in plush residential areas in Accra of huge sums of money and valuables.

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The latest high-profile victim of Yahuza Osumanu is the wife of former Vice-President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, Matilda Yaaba Amissah-Arthur, whom he strangled and repeatedly hit with a gun, before she succumbed to his act dastardly.

The self-styled businessman has appeared at the High Court in Accra for masterminding and robbing high-profile personalities of valuables from their various homes at gunpoint.

Besides robbing a 76-year-old woman at Ridge, Osumanu is alleged to have also robbed Matilda Yaaba Amissah-Arthur, by strangling her and hitting her head repeatedly with a gun.

According to the prosecution, he made away with GH¢28,000, £50 and $2,200 during the incident at Mrs Amissah-Arthur’s house. He is said to have undertaken other robberies using the same modus operandi on businessmen and women in affluent communities, stealing valuables running into millions of Ghana cedis.

Some of the items he is alleged to have stolen from those victims included two Rolex watches worth $61,000; two Cartier wristwatches worth $19,000; an iPhone 15 Pro Max, worth $1,000, and pieces of jewellery worth $50,000, among others. 

Prosecution

Additionally, the prosecution said the accused used proceeds of the crime to acquire luxury vehicles, including Toyota FJ Cruiser, Toyota Prado and Lexus, apartments, among others.

The prosecution, led by a Chief State Attorney, Frances M. Ansah, last Tuesday, slapped the accused with 26 counts of robbery and money laundering. Osumanu, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges when he appeared before the court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo.

He has since been remanded in prison custody to reappear on May 2, this year. 

Facts

Narrating the facts of the case, Ms Ansah said during the second quarter of last year, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service received several complaints of residential robberies perpetuated by a single armed man around Airport, Cantonments, Tesano and Ridge.

She said on September 17, 2023, a complainant, Augustine Okere, reported to the Airport Police that at about 2:30 a.m. that day, his residence at Kaeela Court Apartments, Airport Residential Area, had been robbed.

On receipt of the complaint, the state attorney said a team of police personnel from the Airport Police Division was dispatched to the crime scene. The complainant told the police that the accused person entered his room, pointed a pistol at him and demanded money and other valuables.

He was robbed of two Rolex wristwatches valued at $38,000 and $23,000 and cash the sum of GH¢2,000 and £3,500. On September 19, last year, the owner of the Kaeela Courts Apartments furnished the police with a pen drive, which contained CCTV footage of the accused person.

On December 4, last year, the police received other distress calls from two complainants that they had been robbed. Ms Ansah said the accused fled the scene before a team of police arrived.

The complainants told the police that the accused person pointed a pistol at them and succeeded in robbing them of their Cartier wristwatch, an iPhone, and cash running into hundreds of dollars.

The prosecution told the court that CCTV footages on the premises were obtained and reviewed.

Vice-President’s wife

On December 5, last year, the Tesano Police received information at about 4 a.m. that Mrs Amissah-Arthur had been robbed. Again, the robber fled the scene before the police arrived.

The police were told that the suspect was wielding a gun and threatened to kill his victim if she did not comply with his instructions. Aside from the money he made away with, the accused allegedly also bolted with a gold watch valued at GH¢20,000 and necklaces valued at GH¢5,000.

“The accused person also assaulted the wife of the late former Vice-President by strangling her and hitting her head repeatedly on the ground, while demanding more booty. Mrs Amissah-Arthur lost consciousness momentarily and when she regained consciousness the accused person had left with her safe and the booty,” the prosecutor told the court.

The Chief State Attorney said Mrs Amissah-Arthur placed a call to the police guard on duty at her residence and asked him to look out for the accused. She further told the court that the guard spotted the accused person on the compound, while he was trying to escape with the safe.

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“He gave the accused a chase but the accused abandoned the safe and managed to escape,” the prosecutor said. 

CCTV footages

The Chief State Attorney further said the police obtained various CCTV footage from the crime scenes and reviewed them. “The accused person was identified in the CCTV footage as Yahuza Osumanu, who had been on the police radar for his involvement in a series of residential robberies at Cantonments, Airport Residential Area, Ridge and Tesano,” the prosecution said.

Ridge robbery

On December 11, last year Ms Ansah added, the police patrol team received information about a robbery incident at Ridge and proceeded to the scene, where the victim reported that Osumanu robbed her at gunpoint, after ransacking her room and making away with luxury items.

Police initial assessment revealed that the accused person gained access into the house through the victim's window in the kitchen, which was not properly locked, the prosecutor told the court.

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After analysing the footage, the prosecutor said the police gathered that Osumanu, who lived at Dome Pillar 2, was the one carrying out those series of robberies.

Arrest

On December 13, last year, the police, with a search warrant proceeded to a house at Dome Pillar 2, which was the hideout of the accused, but did not meet him. The police were shown a residence at Tantra Hill where they arrested Osumanu’s shopkeeper, who led the police to a two-bedroom apartment where the accused person lived with his family, but the accused person had escaped at the time the police got there.

The police opened the apartment and a search revealed six motorbikes, including three high horse-power types, a toy gun, assorted pieces of jewellery, some electronic devices, a jackknife, an unregistered Toyota Prado and Lexus vehicles, which were retrieved from the house.

The accused was arrested on December 15, 2023, from his hideout at Kasoa. 

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