Four persons jailed 40 years over Canadian Kidnappers case

Four persons jailed 40 years over Canadian Kidnappers case

Four persons who kidnapped two Canadian women at Nhyiaso, Kumasi in the Ashanti Region in 2019, have been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment each by an Accra High Court.

The accused persons are, Sampson Agalor, a 27-year-old Computer Engineer, Elvis Ojiyorme, a 27-year- old businessman, Jeff Omarsar, a 28-year-old tiler and Yusif Yakubu, a Ghanaian.

This was after the Court had found them guilty on the charges of conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping at the end of a three-year trial.

The Court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, sentenced the accused persons to nine years on the charge of conspiracy to kidnap and 10 years imprisonment on the charge of kidnapping.
Sentences of the accused persons would however run concurrently.

The victims namely, Luaren Tilly and Bailey Chittey who were in Ghana for voluntary service, were kidnapped at the entrance of their hostel in Kumasi.

The victims and their families watched the delivery of the judgement via zoom.
The trial judge also took the opportunity to apologise to the victims and their families for the trauma they suffered during the incident

She noted that that the incidence of kidnap cases had led to stigmatisation of countries as same had thrown countries into despair thereby marring the relationships between countries.

The trial Judge appealed to the Office of the Attorney General to take a second look at the laws in respect of kidnapping because countries such as Nigeria, South Africa and United Kingdom had amended their laws related to kidnapping.

She said the State could have delved more into the offence and preferred more charges in relation to other offences such as electronic transaction, robbery and rape which could attract harsher sentences.

The court ordered that phones used by the accused persons should be burnt, while the pistols and other ammunitions should be handed over to the Ghana Police Service.

The lawyers of the accused persons also rendered an unqualified apology to the victims and their families.
Delivering into the judgement, the trial judge described the evidence of the accused persons as “Laughable” as the accused persons were seen “running away from the truth.”

The Judge said in the case of Agalor, he told the Court that he came to Ghana after completing school in Europe and he was residing in Ghana with his fiancée.

According to the Court, he indicated that because of the case, his fiancée and family had abandoned him.
In the case of Ojiyorme, he told the Court that he was in Ghana to do business and hence stayed in a hotel and he had no idea of the said kidnapping.

The Court raised questions as to how a serious businessman would come to Ghana and stay in a hotel for less than a week and end up in an uncompleted house in Kumasi.

Omarsar also told the Court that he was in Ghana for business prospecting, and he also had no idea of the incident.
The Court was of the view that the evidence of the prosecution witnesses remained “unshaken,” and that the prosecution was able to establish a case beyond reasonable doubt.

Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecution, informed the Court the Attorney General’s Office was embarking on reforms on Act 29 and they would input some of the proposals of the Court after picking up the entire judgement.

The State held that Agalor had been in Ghana for some time, and he had become friends with Yakubu in March 2019.
During their friendship, Agalo came up with an idea of kidnapping and Yakubu accepted and agreed to assist Agalor in the kidnapping venture and Yakubu assisted with the purchase of a gun.

The prosecution said later, Agalor went to Nigeria and recruited Omarsar who joined the gang.
It said after the three had stayed in Ashiaman for some time, they migrated to Kumasi and met Yakubu who hired a vehicle for kidnapping activities.

The Prosecution said on June 4, 2019, the gang, in a car accosted the two Canadian women, who hired the services of an Uber ride at Nhyiaso in Kumasi, assaulted them and forced them into their (accused persons) vehicle amidst shootings.

The victims were sent to an uncompleted building at Kenyasi also in Kumasi and demanded a ransom of $800,000 from the two victims.

Following Intelligence, the victims were however rescued by a team of security personnel.

source: Newsghana

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