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Vendor caged 17 months for aiding Kwabenya cell breakers

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
The convict, Nancy Denta
The convict, Nancy Denta

A vendor in soft drinks who plied her trade near the Kwabenya Police Station was yesterday sentenced to 17 months’ imprisonment by the Accra Circuit Court for aiding seven inmates to escape from the police station cell on January 21, 2018.

Nancy Denta was found guilty of abetment to escape from lawful custody by the court, presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh.

It was established during the trial that Denta knew about the plot by the inmates to escape and aided them by charging a mobile phone for one of them.

It was that phone that the inmates used to contact their accomplices outside the cell to plan the escape.

Other convicts

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Kofi Seshie, one of the men who stormed the police cell to free the inmates, was also slapped with a 17-month jail term on the same charge of abetment to escape from lawful custody.

Seshie is suspected to be the one who shot and killed Inspector Emmanuel Ashilevi, the police officer on duty on the day of the incident. He is facing a separate charge of murder at the High Court.

Prince Osei, one of the inmates who escaped from the police cell, and Prince Kofi Acheampong, a fetish priest, were also jailed for 40 months each.

Osei was found guilty of possessing firearms without lawful authority, while Acheampong was found guilty of abetment to possession of firearms without authority for providing Osei with a locally manufactured pistol and six cartridges.

Escapees

Four of the seven escapees, including Osei, have already been handed a total of 124 months in prison, after they had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to escape from lawful custody and escaping from lawful custody.

The rest are Kofi Darko, Emmanuel Kotey and Atta Kwadwo.

The other escapees — Chibuzor Akwubu, Rockson Edem Dzigbede and Dickson Ofori — are, however, still on the run.

Six set free

Six other persons accused of helping the inmates to escape were, however, acquitted and discharged by the court in May 2018.

George Yeboah, Edward Lartey, George Sarbah, Elvis Owusu, George Asante and Theophilus Bandah were set free after the court held that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against them.

Prosecution proved its case

Passing the sentence yesterday, Mr Tandoh said he took into consideration the 13 months the accused had spent in police custody and the plea for mitigation by their counsel.

He held that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt to establish the guilt of the four convicts.

On the other hand, he said, there were contradictions in the testimonies of the convicts and also their testimonies were at variance with the caution statements that they gave to the police.

Cell break

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 Inspector Ashilevi.

According to the prosecution, 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 signalled 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,’’ the prosecution said.

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