The Kumasi High Court presided over by Justice Obeng Diawuo has sentenced three persons believed to be armed robbers to a total of 105 years imprisonment with hard labour for stealing a DAF cargo truck loaded with 600 bags of dried cocoa beans.
The convicts, Mohammed Ali, 61; Abdul Gafaru Abdul Salem, 25 and William Opoku, were sentenced to 35 years each by the high court.
The facts of the case as presented by a State Attorney, Emmanuel Lawrence Otoo-Boison were that on November 6, 2014, a driverJohn Asare, now deceased and his mate, Albert Osei, loaded 600 bags of dried cocoa beans from the Western Region and headed towards Takoradi through Kumasi.
After crossing the Bibiani barrier around 12.30 a.m., some robbers in an empty cargo DAF truck driven by Opoku with registration number AS 2605-10 crossed Asare’s cargo DAF truck bearing registration number AW 327-11. The convicts, who were armed, then ordered the driver and his mate to get down. They tied their hands with nylon ropes; blind folded them and severely subjected them to some beating.
Mohammed Ali with two other people now at large then took control of the truck loaded with the bags of cocoa, while the others took charge of the empty truck in which they had put their victims and followed Ali.
On reaching the Akotaa Forest barrier, the police stopped them, but they ignored the police and sped off. The tied driver and his mate sensing the presence of the police started screaming for help to attract the attention of the police and so feeling incensed, the robbers then pushed them out of the moving truck.
While falling, Osei pulled along Salem, so the two of them fell together. Asare, the driver, however, suffered multiple injuries from the impact of the fall and died on the spot, but Osei survived the injuries. Osei then managed to lodge a complaint at the police barrier, who then alerted the Adiembra police to look out for the robbers.
On reaching Adiembra, the police stopped the robbers who once again attempted ignoring the police order and had to stop only when the police threatened to shoot them.
Ali and Opoku were arrested with the other two having escaped. The police at the Akotaa barrier had also arrested Salem who sustained injuries when he fell from the truck.
They robbers pleaded not guilty to the charges, but after a full trial which lasted seven months, the court found them guilty and passed judgement.
Justice Diawuo described the convicts as callous people who deserved to be kept away from society.