A self-styled pastor, Ernest Abotsi, aka Selasi Koomson, who kidnapped three minors at some churches in Accra last year was on Tuesday sentenced to eight years imprisonment by a Circuit Court in Accra.
Last year, Abotsi first kidnapped a10-year-old boy at the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC), a nine- year- old at Light House Chapel International Church, North Kaneshie branch on December 22 and another eight- year- old girl at Winner’s Chapel at North Industrial Area on December 8.
Charged with three counts of kidnapping, Abotsi pleaded guilty.
The court therefore sentenced him to eight years imprisonment on each of the charges. Sentences are to run concurrently.
An alleged accomplice who was jointly held on the charge of conspiracy to commit crime, Isaac Etifi was however discharged by the court presided over by Sedina Agbemava.
According to the court after listening to the facts of prosecution, the court was of the view that the facts did not support the charge preferred against Etifi.
The court ordered that the GH₡5,000.00 retrieved from Abotsi belonged to Mr Kojo Spencer, a complainant and should be refunded to him.
The facts as presented by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Agnes Boafo, said the complainant Eric Don Arthur resides at East Legon, Mr Spencer, Lashibi and Madam Doris Boateng and Adenta.
On December 1, 2013 Abotsi went to ICGC, Abossey Okai branch and kidnapped a 10 year old boy and later called his father on phone and threatened him to pay GH₡2,000.00 so his son could be set free.
Abotsi collected GH₡2,000.00 and directed the victim’s father to a place to take custody of his child.
At about 0700 hours on December 8, 2013, Abotsi went to Winners Chapel Church at North Industrial Area branch and kidnapped the second victim, an eight year -old girl and sent the victim to an unknown place in Accra and called the victim’s grandmother to pay a ransom of GH 3,000 cedis to him or else loose her granddaughter.
ASP Boafo said out of fear, the victim’s grandmother sent the money to Abotsi at a scheduled place at Darkuman and he later released the victim at spot on the George Walker Bush highway near Hong Kong, who looked traumatized and stressed out.
On December 22, last year, prosecution said Abotsi kidnapped the third victim at Lighthouse International (Quodesh), North Kaneshie Headquarters and repeated his conduct, this time, demanding GH₡5,000.00 before he set the nine- year- old victim free and warned the complainant not to inform the police.
ASP Boafo said luck however run out on Abotsi when he directed the complainant to meet him at Official Town, Odorkor and leave the money near an electricity pole.
During that time the complainant had informed the Police and Abotsi was being monitored by plain cloth policemen. Efiti who was then passing by was asked by Abotsi to pick a polythene bag placed under an electricity pole and in the process of handing it over to Abotsi who was a motorbike with registration number M-13-GE he was arrested.
Later, prosecution said the complainant reported the matter to the Police and Abotsi in his cautioned statement admitted the offence.
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