Prince Adu Boakye, a 24-year-old man who in August 2009, gruesomely murdered his bosom friend, Atta Obiri Yaw, 40, a foreign exchange dealer at the Kumasi Central Market, and succeeded in dispossessing him of his GH¢150,000, has been sentenced to 80 years’ imprisonment in hard labour.
The arrest, arraignment and subsequent appearances of the convict in court dominated media headlines and discussions, as hundreds of foreign exchange dealers in Kumasi always stormed the court to empathise with the family members of the deceased, especially his wife.
A Kumasi Circuit Court, chaired by Emmanuel Amo Yartey, which decided the fate of the convict yesterday, threw him in jail to spend the 80 years there, to serve as deterrent to other miscreants in society. Adu Boakye was convicted of robbery after the Attorney General’s Department reviewed the initial charge of robbery and murder preferred against him, to which he pleaded guilty with explanation.
In his pre-judgment explanation, Adu Boakye denied responsibility for the murder and robbery of Atta Obiri Yaw, submitting that the deceased was shot to death by a certain Lebanese identified as Arnold Gonzalez.
Whilst a state attorney, whose name was only given as Mr. Boison, led the prosecution team, the convict had no legal representation during the judgment. Prosecutors told the court that Prince committed the heinous crime with a fully-loaded pump action gun which was kept in the custody of the police after he was arrested.
The pump action gun, seven live cartridges and a pair of shoes belonging to Atta, were found in the VW Golf car, with registration number AS 5188 A, in which Adu Boakye committed the monstrous act, after police searched the abandoned vehicle at the Frames Lodge in Kumasi.
The facts of the case, stated by Chief Inspector A.K Fando, were that Adu Boakye, who had clinched a deal to change Atta's GH¢96,200 into US dollars, sprayed the deceased with bullets with the gun around 3:30pm on August 3, 2009.
After committing the act, the convict covered the lifeless body of Atta with a yellow towel he stole from the Frames Hotel and then drove through suburbs such as Dakwadwom, TUC, Adiebeba, Santase and finally dumped Atta's body at Apire-Santase link road near St. Hubert Catholic Seminary, and bolted with the money.
Adu Boakye, in his caution statement to the police, after he was apprehended, allegedly admitted to the offence and was remanded into police custody.
Chief Inspector Fandoh, at the convict’s arraignment, told the court that the complainant was a retired teacher whilst the accused is a trader at the Kumasi Central Market. On August 3, 2009, he noted, the complainant's son, Eric Apraku Gyamfi, who deals in mobile phones, gave a Barclays Bank cheque of GH¢150,000 to Atta, a black market dealer at the Kumasi Central Market, to cash the money at the said bank and get him the equivalent in US dollars.
Chief Inspector Fandoh said Atta contacted Adu Boakye and asked if he could assist him to convert the remaining GH¢96,200 to US dollars, which the accused accepted to do immediately.
At about 9:00am on the same day, the accused directed the deceased to Bibiani Logging and Lumber Company Limited (BLLCL) at Kaase in Kumasi where he claimed he was going to secure the needed US dollars from his friend, George Wireko Brobbey, a manager with the company.
He said the deceased carried the GH¢96,200 in a bag, and accompanied by his friend, Kwasi Adjei, he went to the company's reception and waited patiently for the accused person to arrive.
The Police Capo noted that the accused, accompanied by his friend, Arnold Osei Darbo, who also works at the company, arrived at the premises in the VW Golf saloon car.
Adu Boakye, he said, asked Atta and his friend to wait for him at the reception, and then entered the office of George Wireko Brobbey and later returned with a US Dollar cheque which he claimed to have secured from Wireko Brobbey.
He averred that the accused told Atta to inform his friend, Kwasi Adjei, to wait for them at the reception of BLLCL as they cashed the money from the Ahodwo branch of Ecobank. The accused then left with Atta inArnold's VW Golf car, to conclude the money changing deal.
On arrival at the bank, Adu entered an office alone and returned minutes later to inform the deceased that the manager had assured to provide him with the US dollars that he needed, but he was making an arrangement to cash it at the main branch at Adum, so they left the bank premises.
According to the Police Inspector, the accused, who had already booked room number 6 at Frames Lodge at Nhyiaeso, drove the deceased to the hotel to ostensibly wait for the Ecobank manager's call to cash the money. At about 3:30pm, Chief Inspector Fandoh noted the accused and the deceased, with the money on board the Golf car, left Frames Lodge and headed towards Ecobank at Adum.
He narrated that upon reaching a section of the road at Ridge, the accused parked the car behind the Ashanti Paradise Hotel and told the deceased he was picking a parcel from the boot to deliver to a friend.
He said Adu, who had already loaded the pump action gun, sneaked behind his business partner, aimed at him and fired several volleys through the boot, killing him instantly. He then covered the body with the stolen yellow towel from the Frames Lodge, placed it at the back seat and drove through Kumasi town, finally dumping Atta's body at Apire-Santase link road and bolted with the money.
Chief Inspector Fandoh said on August 4, 2009, the accused was arrested, and singing like a bird, he admitted to the offence and quickly produced GH¢79,000 of the money to the police.
Source: D Guide/ghana
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