The prosecution in the trial of the four men accused of kidnapping two Canadian girls in Kumasi has tendered in evidence of three pistols and 52 live ammunition retrieved from the accused persons to firm up its case against the four men.
The prosecution, led by Principal State Attorney, Ms Winnifred Sarpong, tendered in the evidence at the court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo through the 11th prosecution witness, Detective Corporal Augustine Dery, during the examination-in-chief last Wednesday.
The prosecution also tendered in seven empty shells which were received from the crime scene in Kumasi where the girls were held captive in 2019.
The four accused persons, Samson Agharlor, alias Romeo; Elvis Ojiyorwe, Jeff Omarsar, and Yusif Yakubu are currently standing trial on charges of conspiracy to kidnap and two counts of kidnapping. They have pleaded not guilty to the offences.
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Also tendered in evidence on Thursday, July 22, was a metallic box and a picture of a hand grenade found at the crime scene as well as a report on the grenade.
However, Detective Dery, in tendering his exhibits in evidence, explained that the anti-robbery unit of the Criminal Investigative Department (CID) where he worked, did not receive the grenade after submitting it to the base ammunition depot for examination.
“My Lord, the base ammunition depot did not return the hand grenade to us and they maintained that our custody is not safe for keeping it but I have a picture of the said grenade which I wish to tender in evidence,” he said.
The facts of the case as presented by prosecution are that Aghalor, who had been in Ghana for some time, became a friend to Yakubu in March 2019.
In the course of their friendship, Aghalor brought up the idea of kidnapping as a lucrative venture, an idea that was accepted by Yakubu.
Yakubu agreed to assist Aghalor in the kidnapping activity and even helped him to procure a pistol.
To bring their idea into fruition, the prosecutor said Aghalor went to Nigeria in May 2019 and recruited Ojiyorwe and Omarsar to be part of the gang.
According to the prosecution, the three Nigerians, upon their arrival to Ghana, resided at Ashaiman for some time before they went to Kumasi to meet up with Yakubu.
When they got to Kumasi, Aghalor, who was the leader of the gang, gave some money to Yakubu to hire a car, an apartment and also buy pistols and other items to enable them to carry out their kidnapping activities.
Kidnapping of Canadians
Ms Craig said on June 4, 2019, the gang, in a car, accosted the two Canadian ladies, who had boarded an Uber taxi at their hostel at Nhyiayeso, a suburb of Kumasi.
“They were accosted by the gang when they arrived at their destination and alighted from the Uber taxi. Aghalor, Ojiyorwe, Omarsar and Yakubu assaulted the victims and forced them into their vehicle amid shooting.
They then sped off with their victims to their hideout, which was in an uncompleted building at Kenyasi Krobo, another suburb of Kumasi,” the prosecution added.
During their captivity, Aghalor contacted the families of the two women and demanded a ransom of $800,000.
The prosecution told the court that on June 11, 2019, a National Security team, led by Colonel Micheal Opoku, acting on intelligence, arrested Yakubu.
Afterwards, the team proceeded to arrest Aghalor, Ojiyorwe and Omarsar at their hideout at Kenyasi Krobo and rescued the two women.
“During the rescue mission, Ojiyorwe and Omarsar threatened to kill the victims if the security agents dared them. They exchanged fire with the security agents until they were overpowered and arrested,” according to the facts.
The prosecution added that Aghalor, Ojiyorwe, Omarsar and Yakubu mentioned Nasir and Abubakari as members of the gang and the two were subsequently arrested.