Koala Robbers Reject Police Statements

Lawyers of two out of the five-man robbery gang that allegedly trailed and robbed Lydia Horsu, the marketing clerk of Koala Shopping Centre in Accra, have rejected statements taken by the police during their clients’ arrest.

According to George Asamaney, lawyer for Michael Edoe Ahiataku and Gilbert Osabutey aka Obolo – a shop supervisor at Koala – the statements were taken from his clients under duress.

He said Michael was tortured and brutally assaulted before his statement was taken from him in the presence of Detective Chief Inspector Edaward Adjei Odame, the case investigator.

The senior lawyer insisted that his client was forced to sign the statement.

In the case of Obolo, Mr. Asamaney argued that his client’s statement was taken under duress and not voluntarily.

He insisted that Obolo did not see any independent witness, contrary to the assertion of the prosecution that there was one Jessie Quansah present when the statement was taken.

The lawyer contended that there are blood stains of the accused on the paper used for the statement, indicative of the fact that the accused was beaten.

However, the prosecutor, Chief Superintendent Duuti Tuaruka, who was leading D/Ch/Insp. Odame in evidence, fiercely denied Mr. Asamaney’s claims.

He argued that the statements were taken voluntarily and before independent witnesses; and were read to the accused persons.

C/Supt. Tuaruka maintained that the said evidence of the two accused persons were taken as instructed by Section 120 of the Criminal Evidence Degree.

The trial judge, Aboagye Tandoh, said there was the need for a mini-trial for the court to determine whether or not the statements were taken under duress.

Earlier, Mr. Asamaney had resisted the tendering of a bag purportedly found at the scene of the crime, but the judge dismissed the objection.

The bag, found lying beside Stanley Obaliko aka Mohammed Sulemana – another accused person in the case – contained five spent shells, six live ammunitions, a foreign MAK pistol, ministry of health ID card and driver’s licence belonging to the accused.

Also in the dock was Oko Quarcoe, unemployed and Frederick Sedro Kwame aka Fred, a private security guard.

The accused persons have denied the charges of conspiracy to rob and robbery.

Sitting continues today.

Sulemana and Okoe have also been charged for intentionally and unlawfully causing grievous harm to Lydia.

The five men reportedly trailed and robbed Lydia at about 8am on January 9, this year, of her Nokia phone worth GH¢800, a black ladies’ bag valued at GH¢200, a Koala ID card, invoices and GH¢100.

Sulemana is facing an additional charge of possessing one automatic MAB foreign pistol No. PA151674189, six 9mm ammunitions and five empty cartridges.