Kumasi Kidnappers Planned For Guns

An Accra High Court has heard voice recordings of how the four persons arraigned for kidnapping two Canadian ladies in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region planned to purchase a gun to aid their work.

Evidential call recordings played before the court yesterday revealed how the accused persons agreed to purchase a big gun that will make everyone “stand aside” when they brandish the deadly weapon.

The four accused persons, including three Nigerians, have been charged with three counts of conspiracy, kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment.

They are Sampson Aghalor aka Romeo, 27, computer engineer; Elvis Ojiyorwe, 27, businessman, and Jeff Omarsa, 28, tiller – all Nigerians, and their Ghanaian counterpart Yussif Yakubu, 28.

Fresh Recordings

A continuation of the call recordings played before the court yesterday detailed how they planned to buy a big gun that will make everyone “stand aside”.

Another call recording detailed when Romeo (Aghalor) called someone to inform him that he had arrived in Kumasi and his ‘boys’ were on their way to Accra.

Romeo, during one of the calls, also discussed hiring a Toyota Corolla for the ‘job’ as well as renting an apartment where they can easily move about without any hindrances.

Again, a conversation had Romeo congratulating the other person for completing his job fast and indicated that he (Romeo) would do something special for the colleague’s wife, promising to go to the market to buy her some cloth, rice and other things.

Earlier Recordings

Call recordings of some mobile phones confiscated from the accused persons have already been tendered in evidence by the prosecution, to prove its case against the accused persons.

Detective Sergeant Sylvester Essel, a Forensic Analyst with the Ghana Police Service, who examined the mobile phones, tendered the recordings during his evidence-in-chief led by Winifred Sarpong, a Principal State Attorney and Hilda Craig, a Senior State Attorney.

The witness had told the court that the purpose of his examination was to determine whether the ten mobile phones confiscated from the accused persons were used in perpetrating the crime and the results of his examination revealed that they did.

He also told the court that two of the mobile phones had pictures of weapons stored on them, and that one of the phones was used to share the picture of the gun with the other.

In the earlier call recordings, there were chilling details about how the suspects planned and executed the kidnapping.

Aghalor, believed to be the mastermind, on some occasions spoke to their victims and demanded access to their credit card details, Apple ID and password as well as their Facebook user name and password.

It also came to light that Aghalor had mobile conversations regarding a ‘job’ that was supposed to fetch them 800,000; the same amount they demanded from the victims’ parents in Canada as ransom whilst keeping the ladies captive.

Cross-Examination

Oliver Atsu Abada, counsel for Sampson Aghalor, began cross-examining the witness yesterday, and asked him whether his terms of reference included linking the accused persons with the information he obtained on the mobile phones that were referred to him for examination.

The witness told the court that there were no terms of reference except to examine the devices and determine whether there was communication between the 10 phones that were submitted.

The lawyer then asked the witness whether in the course of examining the information on the devices, he came across the names of any of the accused persons as stated on the charge sheet.

The witness said no, but added that “the names that I came across were names like Yussif, Romeo but it has not been stated as used on the charge sheet.”

The court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo adjourned the case to April 19, 2021 for continuation.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak

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