Respect my rights – Kombian cries out

Notorious jailer breaker, Johnson Kombian, who is standing trial before an Accra Fast Track  Court (FTC) for allegedly killing two policemen has asked the court to order prison authorities to respect his human rights.

According to Kombian, also known as Garkun (meaning “death fears”), even though he is a prisoner, he has rights that should be respected.

Kombian raised concerns his rights were being abused at the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons, when he appeared before the court, presided over by Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh on Monday, March 31, 2014.

The accused person, who is facing two counts of murder and one count of conspiracy for the murder of two police constables in the Nakpanduri Township of the Bunkprugu/Yunyoo district of the Northern Region, repeatedly raised his hand in court to be allowed to make his case.

He told the court that the prison officers at the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons constantly trail him.

"My colleagues are allowed to go anywhere", Kombian said, lamenting that the same is not accorded him.

The court commenced hearing of the murder charges brought against Kombian by the state, led by the Principal State Attorney, Marina Appiah Opare.

The accused, who is already serving a prison term at the Ankaful Prisons in the Central region but is currently held at the Nsawam prisons, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. to be determined  a seven-member-jury.

Prosecution's witness, Detective Corporal Samuel Darko Adinkra, who was then stationed at that Bunkprugu police station in his evidence-in-chief, told the court that on October 17, 2010 at about 5:45 pm, he received a telephone call from Constable Owusu Frimpong, currently deceased, that he and two other colleagues have been attacked by Kombian.

The witness indicated that in view of the urgency of the call, the station mobilized some police personnel including him to search for the police officers, who had been attacked.

Detective Corporal Darko Adinkra noted that the police reinforcement could not easily locate the whereabouts of the police officers, Constable Prince Agyare, Constable Owusu Frimpong and Constable Osei Bonsu, who were attacked on a motor bike, while returning to their station. 

The witness noted that after several hours of searching for their colleagues, the police team finally located them at different locations in the bush in Nankpanduri, severely injured with gunshots and soaked in blood.

He said the team, on its way to rescue the injured police officers, received distress calls from natives of Nankpanduri claiming that Kombian had come to the township, wielding AK47 assault rifle and warning the people to shut their doors and leave the town because the police were invading the town.

Detective Corporal Darko Adinkra further said on getting to the Nankpanduri township, the town was totally deserted as natives of the town had fled into the bush.

After locating their injured colleagues, the reinforcement team transported them to the Nalerigu Baptist Hospital, where Constable Prince Agyare and Constable Owusu Frimpong, were pronounced dead, the court heard.

Corporal Osei Bonsu, who sustained gunshot wounds, survived the attack but was left incapacitated.

During cross-examination by counsel for the accused, Mr. George Asamani, the witness stressed that he received calls from Corporal Agyare for help before he died.

Detective Corporal Darko Adinkra denied the assertion of the defense counsel that no native of Nankpanduri mentioned Kombian, when they called him (witness)

The case has been adjourned to April 3, 2014 for further cross-examination by the defence counsel.  

Kombian and his accomplices, who are currently on the run, are alleged to have killed two police constables in the Nakpanduri Township of the Bunkprugu/Yunyoo district of the Northern Region.

The accused person and his accomplices are alleged to have ambushed three policemen on October 17, 2010 and succeeded in killing two of them, Constable Prince Agyare and Constable Owusu Frimpong. 

The third policeman, Corporal Osei Bonsu, who sustained gunshot wounds, survived the attack.

Kombian allegedly conspired with his friend, Kofi Naaman, alias Accra Boy, to rob Djato Mathias and then attempted to kill him.

Kombian was arrested, tried and sentenced to serve six years in prison by the Circuit Court in Tamale but he escaped, while serving his jail term.

According to the prosecution, Kombian sought refuge in his home town at Nankpanduri.

On October 17, 2010, the accused person and his accomplices received information that a number of policemen had been detailed to perform duties at the Nakpanduri Scarp.

Suspecting that the policemen had been assigned to pick him up, Kombian and his friends, who were also labeled as notorious robbers by the prosecution, ambushed and attacked the three policemen.

They allegedly shot the deceased policemen, who were riding a motorbike.

The accused person and his group continued to fire sporadically into the valley, with the hope of killing the policemen, who also retaliated with occasional gun fire.

Agyare made a distress call, while firing back at Kombian and his gang from his hide out.

 After 30 minutes of firing, Kombian and his gang stopped, and on realizing that the gunshots had ended, Agyare and his colleagues mistakenly thought their attackers had left. They, therefore, came out of their hideout and were subjected to more gun fire. 

Help finally came for Agyare and his colleagues but Kombian and his accomplices bolted.

The wounded policemen were conveyed to the Nalerigu Hospital but Agyare was later pronounced dead.

Frimpong died later, while Bonsu was transferred to the Police Hospital in Accra, where he was treated and discharged.

Kombian escaped to Togo after the incident but he was later picked up by the Togolese authorities and handed over to the Ghanaian authorities.

The accused person was convicted by the Circuit Court, presided over by Mr. E. Kyei-Baffour, and sentenced to serve five years imprisonment for escaping from lawful custody.

The accused person, who is currently serving an-11-year jail term, was subsequently put before the District Court, which committed him for trial at the High court on murder charges.