An Accra circuit court has acquitted and discharged six suspects who were standing trial for allegedly assisting their colleagues to escape from the Kwabenya District police cells on January 21, 2018.
The court, presided over by Abogye Tandoh, ruled that the prosecution did not provide any evidence to establish a prima facie case against the suspects to make them open their defence.
The six are George Yeboah aka Kwesi Shower, Edward Lartey, George Sarbah, Elvis Owusu, George Asante and Theophilus Bandah.
They were among ten other suspects who are before the court charged with possession of firearms without lawful authority, abetment to possession of firearms and abetment to escape from lawful custody.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges, leaving the prosecution to prove the roles they each played in the raid on the police station, which led to the death of Inspector Emmanuel Ashilevi – who was on duty at the station.
The prosecution, led by Superintendent of police Kwaku Bempah, had called four witnesses, including three police officers on duty when the incident occurred, and the case investigator, Detective Inspector Frank Owusu Afranie.
At the end of the prosecution’s case, lawyers for the accused persons filed a submission of ‘no case,’ praying the court to discharge their clients.
According to the lawyers, the prosecution presented discredited evidences which did not link their clients to the crimes they were being charged with.
According to the lawyers, George Sarbah, Elvis Owusu, George Asante and Theophilus Bandah for instance, were only arrested by the police to assist in investigations because they were found in the house where one of the prime suspects was arrested.
In his ruling on the application of ‘no case,’ the presiding judge held that the prosecution failed to lead sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case against the six accused persons.
This, he said, was admitted by the prosecution through its witnesses and the key witness – the investigator – who claimed that some of the accused persons were only arrested because they were living in the same house with a prime suspect in the case.
Mr. Tandoh held that up till the time of the ruling, the prosecution had not been able to establish any evidence against them and it was not clear when they would do so. He therefore, acquitted and discharged the six.
Tears Of Joy
The six, who had been in custody for close to four months, could not hold back their tears as they exited the court room.
Surrounded by their friends and relatives, they jubilated and thanked God for exonerating them.
Meanwhile, the remaining four accused persons – Prince Osei aka Bebe, Nancy Denta, Prince Kofi Acheampong aka Nana Owuo and Kofi Seshie – have been ordered by the court to open their defence after their submission of ‘no case’ was dismissed.
The case has been adjourned to May 23, 2018 for the accused persons to open their defence.
Source: Daily Guide