Three men, including the General Secretary and the Central Regional Chairman of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), were on Tuesday sentenced to a total of 120 years’ imprisonment by the Accra Circuit Court for robbing the Founder of the party, Madam Akua Donkor.
The convicts — Yakubu Yusif, the Central Regional Chairman of the GFP; Barnabas Kayase, the General Secretary, and Abdul Razak Shaibu, who works for the GPRTU — were found guilty by the court on two counts of conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery.
Yusif, Kayese and Shaibu will each serve 20 years for each count, which will run concurrently.
The robbers, armed with guns, were said to have attacked Madam Donkor in her vehicle and made away with her handbag containing $30,000, GH¢2,000, a plane ticket, documents and other items.
Two other members of the gang, identified only as Joe and Nuamah, are currently on the run.
Yusif and Kayase, said to be the masterminds of the operations, contracted Shaibu, Joe and Nuamah to rob the former presidential hopeful at Sowutuom, near Accra, on December 30, 2016. The two were found to have also played an active role in the robbery.
On July 19, 2017, in the course of the trial, another accused person, Opoku Agyemang, was acquitted and discharged after the court had ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove that he had played any role in the robbery.
Delivering the judgement, the presiding judge, Mr Aboagye Tandoh, held that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that the convicts did, indeed, attack the politician.
“I find it as a matter of fact that Yusif, Kayase and Shaibu conspired to rob and did, indeed, rob Madam Donkor by subjecting her to a threat of harm at gunpoint,’’ he said.
Yusif, Kayase and Shaibu, during the trial, testified that they had taken Madam Donkor’s bag to prevent her from going to the International Criminal Court at The Hague in The Netherlands to challenge President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s election victory.
That claim by the convicts were rejected by the court, which described them as half-truths and weightless.
According to the court, the convicts’ deed was made bare when Yusif led the police to retrieve Madam Donkor’s bag from a bush.
“The evidence of the accused was full of half-truths and contradictions and was weightless,’’ the presiding judge stated.
The sentence, Mr Tandoh said, should serve as a deterrent to unscrupulous people and armed robbers who presented themselves as political party activists.
During the trial, it emerged that the police were able to retrieve $4,900 from the convicts. The court, therefore, gave an order for the retrieval of the rest of the money taken from Madam Donkor.
On December 30, 2016, Madam Donkor, in the company of Yusif and Kayase, who was driving, was in a car from Taifa to the Kotoka International Airport to catch a flight to the United States (US).
The prosecutor, Chief Superintendent of Police Mr Duuti Tuaruka, explained that Madam Donkor decided to make a stopover at her house before heading for the airport.
“On reaching Sowutuom in Accra, Shaibu, Joe and Nuamah, armed with guns, appeared from behind the vehicle on a motorbike. As soon as Kayase spotted the armed men, he reduced the speed of the car and switched on double hazard to signal to the robbers that Madam Donkor was in the car,’’ he said.
He added that Kayase immediately parked the car and Shaibu, Joe and Nuamah attacked Madam Donkor.
“The robbers dragged Madam Donkor from the vehicle and snatched her travelling bag containing $30,000, a plane ticket, a Ghanaian passport, a voter’s ID card and GH¢2,000 and escaped,’’ the prosecutor stated.