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‘Limping Kidnapper’ On Remand – Over Canadian Girls Kidnap

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Two more persons suspected to have played a role in the kidnap of the two Canadian girls in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region have been dragged before an Accra High Court.

They are Safianu Abubakari and Abdul Rahman Suleman aka Wofa.

The duo are suspected to be part of the eight persons arrested by the National Security during the rescue of the Canadians last week.

Others

The six accused persons who were arraigned by the court on Friday included three Nigerians – Sampson Aghalor, aka Romeo, Elvis Ojiyorwe and Jeff Omarsar.

The rest – Yusif Yakubu, Abdul Nasir and Seidu Abubakari, aka Mba – all Ghanaians.

They are standing trial for the various roles they played in the kidnapping of Miss Lauren Patricia Catherine Tiley and Miss Bailey Jordan Chilly, two Canadians, who were in Kumasi to participate in a youth programme.

The six were charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, while Aghalor, Ojiyorwe, Omarsar and Yakubu, have been charged separately with two counts of kidnapping.

Hearing

Making their first appearance in a court presided over by Justice George Buadi, yesterday the two accused persons kept varying degrees of distance from the charge of kidnapping.

While Safianu denied being part of the gang, explaining that he was arrested because he took a picture with Yusif Yakubu, one of the accused persons in the trial, Suleman, said to be the owner of the Toyota Corolla vehicle used for the operation stated that he had no knowledge of what his vehicle was going to be used for.

Senior State Attorney, Hilda Craig had earlier told the court that Safianu was a close pal of Yakubu.

The pleas of the two paddies have not been taken by the court.

Prosecuting, Ms Craig urged the court to remand the accused persons to enable further investigation into the matter.

He said the two were early on granted police enquiry bail but were later re-arrested in other not to interfere with ongoing investigations because in her words the accused persons “know more”.

Justice Buadi however remanded the accused persons in BNI custody stating that the two and the six orders in BNI custody must appear before the court on July 1, 2019

Kidnapping plot

The facts of the case as presented by Ms Craig were that, Aghalor who had been in Ghana for some time became a friend to Yakubu in March 2019.

In the course of their friendship, Aghalor brought up the idea of kidnapping as a lucrative venture, an idea that was accepted by Yakubu.

Yakubu agreed to assist Aghalor in the kidnapping activity and even helped him to procure a pistol.

To bring their idea into fruition, the prosecutor said, Aghalor went to Nigeria in May 2019 and recruited Ojiyorwe and Omarsar to be part of the gang.

According to her, the three Nigerians, upon their arrival to Ghana, resided at Ashaiman for some time before they went to Kumasi to meet up with Yakubu.

When they got to Kumasi, Aghalor, who was the leader of the gang, gave some money to Yakubu to hire a car, an apartment and also buy pistols and other items to enable them to carry out their kidnapping activities.

Kidnapping of Canadians

Ms Craig said on June 4, 2019, the gang, in a car, accosted the two Canadian ladies, who had boarded an Uber taxi at their hostel at Nhyiayeso, a suburb of Kumasi.

“They were accosted by the gang when they arrived at their destination and alighted from the Uber taxi. Aghalor, Ojiyorwe, Omarsar and Yakubu assaulted the victims and forced them into their vehicle amid shooting.

They then sped off with their victims to their hideout, which was in an uncompleted building at Kenyasi Krobo, another suburb of Kumasi,” the prosecutor added.

During their captivity, Aghalor contacted the families of the two women and demanded a ransom of $800,000.

Rescue

Ms Craig told the court that on June 11, 2019, a National Security team, led by Colonel Micheal Opoku, and acting on intelligence, arrested Yakubu.

Afterwards, the team proceeded to arrest Aghalor, Ojiyorwe and Omarsar at their hideout at Kenyasi Krobo and rescued the two women.

“During the rescue mission, Ojiyorwe and Omarsar threatened to kill the victims if the security agents dared them. They exchanged fire with the security agents until they were overpowered and arrested,” she said.

The prosecutor added that Aghalor, Ojiyorwe, Omarsar and Yakubu mentioned Nasir and Abubakari as members of the gang and the two were subsequently arrested.

 

By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson

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