Six persons accused of being accomplices of the seven inmates who escaped from the Kwabenya Police Station in Accra on January 21, 2018 were Thursday acquitted and discharged by the Accra Circuit Court.
The court, presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh, set George Yeboah, Edward Lartey, George Sarbah, Elvis Owusu, George Asante and Theophilus Bandah free, following the failure of the prosecution to establish a prima facie case against them.
The court’s decision was based on a submission of ‘no case’ filed by lawyers for the six.
Defence counsels had argued that the prosecution failed to provide any evidence to link their clients to the alleged escape or any act that aided the escapees to successfully accomplish their mission.
The prosecution, in its case, claimed that Yeboah helped two of the escapees — Prince Osei and Atta Kwadwo — with GH¢200 to escape, while it said Lartey was seen with Prince Kofi Acheampong, one of the accused persons alleged to have helped the escapees to bolt from police cells.
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According to the prosecution, Sarbah, Owusu, Asante and Bandah were also found in the compound house where Kofi Seshie, another accused person alleged to have freed the inmates, resided.
In its ruling on Thursday, the court sided with the defence counsel and held that the prosecution failed to establish any case against the six persons.
The court was, however, of the view that the prosecution established a strong case against Prince Osei, Nancy Dentaa, Acheampong and Seshie and, therefore, ordered them to open their defence.
Hearing continues on May 23, 2018.
Four of the seven escapees have already been handed a total of 124 months in prison after they pleaded guilty to conspiracy to escape from lawful custody and escaping from lawful custody.
They are Kofi Darko, Emmanuel Kotey, Prince Osei and Atta Kwadwo.
On January 21, 2018, seven inmates of the Kwabenya Police Station cell escaped from custody through a cell break carried out by six armed men.
The cell break led to the death of a police officer, Inspector Emmanuel Ashilevi.
The police were able to arrest four of the escapees and nine people alleged to have aided them in their escape, but three of the escapees — Chibuzor Akwubu, Rockson Edem Dzigbede and Dickson Ofori — are still on the run.
The prosecutor, Superintendent of Police Mr Kwaku Bempah, had informed the court that before the operation, two members of the gang had surveyed the police station by intentionally visiting the place to lodge a complaint.
They complained that someone had borrowed their money and refused to pay, for which a policeman told them to institute civil action at the court.
“At that moment, the two signaled the rest who had laid ambush to launch an attack on the charge office. They shot Inspector Ashilevi, who was on duty.
“They took the keys to the cells and released seven of the inmates, namely, Prince Osei, Atta Kwadwo, Chibuzor Akwubu, Emmanuel Kotey, Kofi Darko, Rockson Edem Dzigbede and Dickson Ofori,’’ he said.