Convict petitions President to order retrial of robbery case

Abigail Woabi Kalifa, a convict, has petitioned President Nana  Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to order a retrial of the case in which she has been jailed and serving a 28-year sentence at the Ho Prison, in the Volta Region.

The convict said she knew nothing about the crime of conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery preferred against her by her accusers.

Lalifa said that she was a victim of travesty of justice, adding that she was only 17 years old at the time of the robbery took place in Ho.

“I did not have a birth certificate to prove my age, and so the police put my age at 19 on the charge sheet, to hurriedly throw me into  prison”, she told the Ghanaian Times  during its routine visit to the Ho Prison.

Kalifa, who pleaded not guilty during the trial, said that she had never set foot in Ho prior to the incident.

According to her, she and seven men were convicted of the offences by the Ho Circuit Court, and sentenced to various prison terms, in January, 2017.

She said it emerged that the gang leader was her boyfriend.

The facts that led to the charges leveled against them were that, on June 1, 2015,  at about 1:30 am, a group of armed robbers attacked Patience Tamakloe, a tea seller, at the Ho Civic Centre, and collected her cellular phone valued at GHS400 and an amount of GHS 420.

During the same night and place, the said group also attacked Ametefe Sukah, a watchman, at the God First Enterprise store, and caused serious harm to him, broke into the store and made away GHS 8,500.

Investigations later led to the arrest in Aflao of the eight suspects, who were taken to Regional Police Headquarters in Ho.

During investigations, most of the suspects were said to have confessed to the crime, and mentioned accomplices while their first victim was also said to have identified some of them.

The victim also pin-pointed Kalifa as a member of the gang, who wore a police uniform during the attack on her.

However, Kalifa told this reporter that she was wrongly identified by the victim, “because I did not know Ho at the time”.

She said that the statement she submitted to the police was not the  one presented to the court, adding that “the police tactfully gave me a bad name for the court to hang me”.

 Kalifa admitted that the gang leader was her boyfriend , but she did not know him as a criminal, but said “I was at his place cooking for him when the police came and picked us”.

According to Kalifa, who gave birth at the age of 15, and has so far served two years of the sentence, some members of the gang implicated her to teach her boyfriend a lesson.

FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO

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