Denu cell escapees arraigned before court

The five suspected criminals after appearing in court.They are (from left)Ashitey, Edzodzi ,Wada ,Gomela and AzasuALL the five suspected armed robbers who were recaptured by the police after escaping from the cells at the Denu Police Station, a month ago, pleaded not guilty to escaping from lawful custody, when they appeared before the Aflao Circuit Court yesterday.

They are Kwaku Azasu, alias Yoyo, Stanley Wada, alias Kebii, George Dabla Edzodzi, alias Black Jesus, Edem Gomela and Linus Ashitey.

The accused persons who were not represented by counsel, also pleaded not guilty to causing unlawful damage and stealing.

With them in the dock were Edoe Akpaloo, a fetish priest charged for dishonesty receiving the AK 47 assault rifles from the escapees; Augustine Gomashie and Ephraim Afedo for harbouring some of the escapes.

They also pleaded not guilty to the charges.

There was heavy police presence at the court, as a large number of people flocked there to catch a glimpse of the accused persons.

At one stage the scene looked like that of a political rally, as some members of the public who could not get space in the gallery or in the forecourt climbed onto roof-tops of houses close to the court, in the hope of following the proceedings inside the courtroom.

The second accused, Stanley Wada, who sustained gunshot wounds in his leg when he was recaptured, was carried into the courtroom by two policemen.

Meanwhile, the third accused, Geroge Dabla Edzodzi who was similarly injured when he was re-arrested, had a robbery case pending against him at the same court which found him guilty and slammed a 10 year prison sentence on him.

Sergeant Michael Akimo, prosecuting, told the court presided over by Mr. Ali Baba Abature, that the accused persons and two of their accomplices now at large, were remand prisoners in the custody at the Denu Police Station.

The prosecution said that on March 13, 2015, at 12:15 am, the accused persons and two of their accomplices now at large, broke the cells of the Denu Police Station, over-powered the two policemen on duty and took away two AK 47 assault rifles with 25 rounds of ammunition each before escaping.

Soon after the escape, the police began a manhunt for the escapees and the five were re-captured at different times and at different locations, the prosecution added.

The court heard that both rifles have been retrieved, one without its magazine.

The court remanded the accused persons and reminded the police to take them to the Ho Prisons immediately.

Hearing continues on April 22.

From Alberto Mario Noretti, Aflao

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