Two out of the three suspects who played various roles in assisting Alhassan Rabiu, a deceased notorious armed robber to rob the Accra Shopping Mall branch of Ecobank, were yesterday convicted by an Accra circuit court.
The trial judge, Francis Obiri, handed Olando Ajeopo, alias Bature, one year for harbouring a criminal (Rabiu) who later died in a shoot-out with the police after the Ecobank robbery incident.
His alleged accomplice, Haruna Sulemana, carried Rabiu on his motorbike for the robbery and waited with a gun at the car park to ward off anybody who dared stop their operation.
He was handed 20 years for dishonestly receiving $4,700 from Rabiu as part of his booty.
Mohammed Sadique was however, acquitted and discharged by the trial judge on grounds that no witness testified against him.
Sadique immediately took to his heels after the judgment.
The robbery charges against all the suspects were dismissed by the trial judge who said the prosecuting team had failed to prove that the accused took part in the robbery.
According to Justice Obiri, no evidence was led by the prosecution to prove that any of the suspects was part of those who entered the mall with Rabiu so they were discharged on those charges.
The facts of the case before the court are that on July 21, 2011, Rabiu, Sam Peters (now deceased) and others who had conspired to rob the Ecobank at the Accra Shopping Mall allegedly took the workers and customers hostage at gunpoint.
It said Rabiu entered the mall while the others took positions outside and warded off customers at gun point.
According to the facts, Rabiu, before entering the mall, approached the security man -one Kofi Yeboah – pointed a gun at him and marched him to the counter where customers were transacting business and ordered everyone in the banking hall to lie down.
It maintained that for fear of his life, he went to one teller, Mark Tornu, (also a witness in the case) and ordered him out at gun point and proceeded to clear all the money there in various denominations and left within a twinkle of an eye.
According to the facts, Rabiu in all took an amount of GH¢105,100, $48,000, £52,000 and €45,000.
In addition, it stated that the case was reported and the suspects were arrested but Rabiu and Peters died in a shoot-out with the police. It posited that Bature told the police in his caution statement that he had known Rabiu for 20 years and said he had a job with G4 Security as a guardsman and was posted to the Stanbic Bank, Accra Mall Branch in 2008.
He admitted receiving the said amount of money from Rabiu after the operation.
Source: Daily Guide
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