2 retired soldiers, nine others jailed 252 years for robbery

Two retired soldiers and nine others who robbed a gold-buying company at Wassa Akropong in the Western Region have been sentenced to 252 years imprisonment in hard labour by the Tarkwa Circuit Court.

Emmanuel Tetteh alias ‘Rocky Study’ is a retired soldier but currently works as a private security officer while his colleague, Samuel Agbadoku is unemployed, Isaac Adjei is a private security officer, Frank Afavi, alias ‘Hero’, is a fetish priest, Yaw Adzevi, a kente weaver and Anthony Ayivie Kwame Senyo alias ‘Shoto’, a driver were each jailed 17 years.

The rest are Pascal Korku Atatsitsey alias ‘Mezaya’ and Dodzi Awali, both fetish priests, Dickson Kumedzro alias ‘Jaggar’, a farmer, Ruben Kportufe alias ‘Offei’, a self-acclaimed businessman were each handed 25 years.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Buzu alias ‘Meme’, an ex-convict would serve 50 years.

They were charged with conspiracy and robbery but denied the offence which occurred in 2018, and pleaded with the presiding judge, Mrs Hathia Ama Manu to temper justice with mercy.

However, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Isaac Babayi, who led the prosecution, said the court should ignore the pleas of the convicts and instead give them enhanced punishment to serve as a deterrent to the public.

He said, “These offenders do not deserve mercy from the court.”

The complainant, Mr Prince Dennis is the Wassa Akropong branch manager of AU Resources Ghana Limited, dealers in gold and Adjei is a security guard in the said company.

The remaining convicts are residents of Saki, a suburb of Ashaiman, Klikor, Weta, Agbozume, Aflao, and Sogakope all in the Greater Accra and Volta Regions respectively.

In September 2018, Adjei contacted Tetteh and informed him that the company he worked for had a lot of refined gold and therefore he wanted some people to visit and rob them so he would have his share.

According to the prosecution, Adjei kept mounting pressure on Tetteh, and he called Agbadoku who used to be his close ally during their days in the military service to organize men for the operation.

Agbadoku then travelled to his hometown in Agbozume and met Atatsitsey.

A fetish priest and the two discussed the issue, and he accepted the deal and consulted Afavi, another fetish priest to come on board.

He said after a series of deliberations, they recruited Atatsitsey, Afavi Kumedzro, Adzevi, Awali and Peter Adoku now at large, and that on October 1, 2018, Agbadoku led them from Agbozume to Wassa Akropong and lodged them in a hotel for the robbery.

Atatsitsey later handed them over to Tetteh for briefing, and he led them to the complainant’s company where they attempted to rob them but were not successful because they did not have weapons.

ASP Babayi said Afavi assessed the situation and contacted Buzu and Adoku from Aflao to join them at Wassa Akropong to execute the job, and on October 5, 2018, the two hired Senyo’s vehicle with pistols to the place.

Prosecution said the next day, at about 3:00 pm, Atatsitsey, Kumedzro, Awali, Buzu and Adoku armed with guns and knives invaded the gold-buying company and made away with 7.5 kilograms of refined gold valued at GH¢1,543,500, six mobile phones valued at GH¢ 4,800.00 and cash amount of GH¢250,000.

He said while the robbery was going on, a Closed-circuit television camera installed at the company’s yard captured them, and after the operation, they drove to Kasoa and lodged in a hotel with the items.

ASP Babayi said while waiting for Adjei and Atatsitsey, a misunderstanding ensued among them, and this alerted the security officer who was on duty at the hotel, and he informed the Kasoa police patrol team for assistance.

The team arrested Atatsitsey and Senyo, and a search on them uncovered one Italian pistol with a round of ammunition, two kitchen knives, a hammer and a talisman.

They denied involvement in the crime and the case was later transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department Headquarters in Accra for further investigation.

The court heard that during the investigation Atatsitsey, Kumedzro, Adzefi and Senyo confessed and mentioned Kportufe and Buzu as their accomplices.

They further revealed that Awali, Kportufe, Buzu and Adoku were with them in the hotel at Kasoa when the police came in, but they managed to escape through the windows.

He said Awali was later arrested at Kpoglu, near Dzodze in the Volta Region, while Tetteh was also picked up at Kyebi in the Eastern Region, and the two disclosed to the police that Agbadoku was part of the group that robbed the complainant, and he was traced at Akatsi and arrested.

Nine of the convicts admitted the offence in their caution statements and said the gold and cash they had from the operation were in the custody of Buzu and Adoku, who were then at large.

On January 15, 2022, Buzu, was arrested in Tema and he claimed the gold and cash were taken away by Adoku, while they were in Benin.

Before passing judgment, the court said Adoku should be declared as wanted and apprehended as soon as possible to face prosecution.

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