An Accra Circuit court has refused to grant bail to the eight suspects who were arrested in connection with the robbery of the late Member of Parliament (MP) for Mfantseman, Mr Ekow Quansah.
The decision of the court, presided over by Ms Evelyn Asamoah, was made after the prosecution had told the court that results of the forensic examination of evidence gathered at the crime scene was not ready.
The accused persons, Alhassan Abubakar, Naziru Fudailu Nash, popularly called SP, Alhassan Mahama Yahaya, Amadu Yakubu, Haruna Osumanu, Adam Alhassan, Fuseini Osuman and Fred Tetteh have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to robbery and robbery and have since been remanded.
At the previous hearing, the prosecutor, Chief Inspector Emmanuel Halligah told the court that the “bullets, shells and gun” used by the perpetrators had been sent to the forensic laboratory for examination, and asked the court for more time to conclude the examination.
However, at the hearing on December 30, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Fuseini Yakubu, who held the brief for the substantive prosecutor, told the court that the report from the forensic laboratory of the cybercrime unit was not ready and thus urged the court to remand the accused persons and adjourn the case.
In his application for bail, one of the defence counsels, Mr George Asamaney, argued that his clients were not flight risk and that they had fixed places of abode.
He added that when admitted to bail, his clients would not interfere with police investigations and would attend court proceedings till the final determination of the matter.
He further enumerated names of some persons who he said were willing to stand as sureties for his clients adding that “These are people of substance who are independent, of good character and of sufficient means to stand as sureties.”
Another counsel, Mr Diaa Marcellinus, who held the brief for Mr Martin Kpebu also argued that his client was willing to stand trial in order to prove his innocence and therefore, will not interfere with police investigations.
He further noted that his client’s landlord had given a statutory declaration indicating the good character of his client.
This, he argued, was a clear indication that indeed his client was really of good conduct.
The prosecution vehemently opposed the bail urging the court to consider the nature of accusations leveled against the accused persons adding that there had not been any undue delay from the side of the prosecution.
ASP Yakubu further told the court that the supposed sureties mentioned by some of the defence counsels had not been independently verified to ascertain whether they had fixed places of abode and were gainfully employed.
The court after hearing the submissions from both sides remanded the accused persons.
In remanding the accused persons, the presiding judge said the court was mindful of the nature of the case and the fact that forensics to cybercrime investigations may take time.
The case was subsequently adjourned to January 18, 2021.
Per the prosecution’s facts, Mr Hayford had filed his nomination to contest the parliamentary seat again and subsequently went on a campaign tour.
While returning home on October 9, this year, at around 1 a.m., the MP’s car was caught up in a robbery spree.
Some robbers had mounted barriers at Abeadze-Dominase and Duadze on the Mankesim-Assufosu highway and they were robbing commuters of their mobile phones and other valuables.
The robbers allegedly fired gunshots at the MP’s vehicle, bursting the tires and making the vehicle ran into a ditch.
The robbers surrounded the passengers and demanded their valuables, while pointing a gun at one of them, asking whether he was the MP. Mr Hayford identified himself as the legislator.
The robbers allegedly pounced on him and collected his Samsung Galaxy 850 mobile phone and demanded money from him.
The MP, the prosecution said, told the robbers that he had used all his money as he was returning from a campaign tour.
“He, therefore, pleaded with them to take him to his house to give them money but they refused and shot him, killing him instantly,” the prosecution added.
Tracking and arrest
The prosecution said the police tracked the MP’s phone to Kumasi and arrested some of the suspects.
“The Police tracked the mobile phone of the deceased to Kumasi and arrested Nash at Aboabo.
He had the MP’s Samsung Galaxy 850. Nash mentioned Abubakar as the person who sold the phone to him at GH¢780.
“Nash led the police to Akwatia Line, also in Kumasi, where Abubakar was also arrested,” the prosecution added.