An Accra Fast Track High Court yesterday, sentenced Johnson Kombien to death by hanging for killing two policemen at Nakpan-duri in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District of the Northern Region, on October 17, 2010.
The court also sentenced him to 30 years imprisonment on conspiracy to commit crime.
“I hope this did not happen but if it did, may God be with you,” said Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh, the Presiding Judge, when he pronounced the judgement.
Kombien, a businessman and farmer pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit crime and two counts of murder, but the seven-member jury found him guilty and he was accordingly, convicted.
His victims, Constables Prince Agyare and Owusu Frimpong, both stationed at the Nakpanduri Police Station had since been buried.
Another victim Corporal Osei Bonsu, also seriously injured, is currently bed-ridden.
Justice Logoh noted that the prosecution had made a case against the accused as his defence had not raised any reasonable probability to discredit the prosecution’s evidence.
The prosecution, led by Mrs. Marina Appiah-Opare, a principal state attorney, invited six witnesses, including Kombien’s relative, senior policemen and a pathologist from the Accra Police Hospital to make its case.
The facts of the case are that Johnson Kombien, alias “Garkum,” (which means “I am ready to die” in the Bimoba dialect), a native of Bunkpurugu in the Northern Region, together with a friend, Kofi Naam (alias Kofi Accra Boy), conspired to rob and robbed Mr. Djato Mathias and even attempted to kill him.
He (Kombien) was arrested, tried and sentenced to six years imprisonment by a circuit court in Tamale.
However, he escaped from the Tamale Prisons.
As a fugitive, Kombien went to Bunkpurugu when he heard that some policemen were on routine checks at the Nakpanduri scarp, and thinking that they had come to effect his arrest, Kombien with his accomplices ambushed and opened fire on the police officers.
The victims fell into a valley 10 metres from where they were shot, but Kombien and his colleagues continued firing at them.
Even though the policemen were wounded, they managed to take cover in the valley and Constable Agyare made a distress call to the police station for assistance, while occasionally firing from their hideout to scare the attackers who had then stopped firing for about 30 minutes.
The policemen mistook the short period of silence to mean that Kombien and his gang had gone away and came out of their hideout, only to be met with a hail of bullets from the gang.
The police at Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo, responding to the distress call, rushed to the scene at about 5:30pm on that same day, Sunday, October, 2010, but the gang fled upon seeing the police.
The victims were taken from the valley to the Nalerigu Baptist Hospital but Constable Agyare was pronounced dead on arrival, while, Constable Frimpong died two days later.
But Corporal Osei Bonsu was transferred to the Police Hospital in Accra where he was treated and later discharged.
The convict, after the killings, escaped to Togo but he was arrested by the Togolese authorities who handed him over to their Ghanaian counterparts.
He was brought down to Accra and taken to the Circuit Court One at the Cocoa Affairs Courts by Mr. Kyei Baffour, who tried and convicted him to a further five-year jail term in hard labour thus bringing the total number of years to 11(six years for causing harm and five years of escaping from lawful custody to run consecutively).
A bill of indictment was therefore, prepared and taken to the District Court where he was committed by Mr. Ali Baba Bature on May 23, 2012, to stand trial at the Fast Track High Court, Accra.
However, the trial began on March 4, 2014.
By Malik Sullemana