Koala robbery suspects remanded

•    Two  of the suspects

• Two of the suspects

Three of the five persons standing trial for robbing a staff of the Koala Shopping Centre at Cantonments in Accra, were yesterday denied bail by an Accra Circuit Court.

This was after their counsel, George Asomani, had prayed the court to grant his clients bail.

However, the prosecutor,   Chief Superintendent (Supt.) Duutii Tuaruka objected to the bail application, saying remanding them, would enable the police to complete investigations.

It was revealed that two of the accused, Stanley Obaliko, a Nigerian resident in Ghana and Okoe Quarcoe, an unemployed, who sustained injuries on the day of their arrest are still recovering at the Police Hospital.

Consequently, they were unable to appear before the court.

Those who appeared before the court were, Michael EdoeAhiataku, an ex- soldier, Gilbert Osabutey, shop supervisor at Koala Shopping Centre, Frederick Sedro Kwame, a private security guard with Acasia Building Company.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy to commit crime, possessing of firearm and ammunition without authority, robbery and causing harm.

Presenting the fact of the case, Chief Supt. Tuaruka told the court that the complainant in the case is Lydia Horsu, a Marketing Administrator of Koala Shopping Centre, who goes round daily to collect money from sales and later send them to the company’s head office at airport.

He added that on January 6, three of the accused, Ahiataku, Osabutey, Sedro Kwame, hatched a plan to rob the Koala Shopping Centre, and further sought the assistance of two accomplices at large, who also recruited Obaliko and Quarcoe to carry out their plot.

Chief Supt. Tuaruka revealed that on January 8, at about 8 p.m., all the accused met at the Koala Shopping Centre at Cantonments, and Gilbert Osabutey, the shop Supervisor, briefed them about the movement of the complainant and they agreed to rob her the following day.

He said, on January 9, at about 8 a.m., the complainant came to the shopping centre, Cantonments branch, and decided to audit the company’s invoice and voucher and left, enroute to their head office at Airport.

The prosecutor told the court that, Osabutey, at the shop, alerted Ahiataku and Sedro Kwame, via mobile phone, that the complainant had left, and also informed Obaliko and Quarcoe, who were on a blue BMW motorbike closer to the shopping centre.

He added that Obaliko and Quarcoe trailed the complainant to a section of the road near the American Embassy at Cantonments, and Obaliko who was then sitting behind Quarcoe on the motorbike alighted and pointed a pistol at the complainant and ordered her to surrender her handbag.

Supt. Tuaruka said, the complainant initially refused to comply and raised the alarm which infuriated Obaliko, who pushed her to the ground and forcibly snatched the handbag from her. Thereafter, Obaliko shot at her twice in her left thigh and calf, after which they sped off.

The prosecutor said, a taxi driver who witnessed the incident, chased the accused with his vehicle and knocked them off their motorbike, into a gutter.

Supt. Tuaiuka said, a report was made to the police, leading to the arrest of all the accused.

By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme                      

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