Kumasi, Feb 7, GNA ? Two robbers who snatched a Toyota Corolla taxi from its driver at gun point have been sentenced to a total of 180 years in hard labour by a Kumasi Circuit Court. Kofi Owusu, 27, an ex-convict, and John Obeng, 35, is each going in for 90 years. They faced charges of conspiracy to commit crime and robbery.
Owusu insisted on his innocence while Obeng confessed to the conspiracy charge.
The court presided over by Justice William Boampong also issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a car dealer, one Kofi Acheampong, alias ?Wofa K? , who is reported to be their accomplice and is on the run.
Police Chief Inspector Isaac MensahApenteng told the court that Owusu had just served out a six-year jail term at the Ankaful Prisons for theft and lived together with Obeng at Kotwi, near Kumasi.
On January 1, they engaged the services of Daniel AsafoAdjei to carry them in his Toyota Corolla taxi from the Miklin Hotel in Kumasi to Ahenema-Kokoben in the Atwima-Kwanwoma District.
The prosecution said midway through the journey the convicts ordered him at gun-point to surrender the ignition key, cellular phone and GH? 600 which he did.
Owusu and Obeng drove the stolen car straight to ?Wofa K?, who is alleged to have earlier assured them of buying it but reneged.
They therefore went shopping for another buyer and were arrested by the police before they could succeed in disposing of the car.
The convicts were later identified by the victim.
They told the court that they were only acting on the instructions of ?Wofa K? who had engaged them to seize the vehicle, which he claimed he sold to the driver but had not been fully paid for.
Justice Boampong rejected their defense, saying no right thinking member of the society would accept the explanation.
He expressed concern about the growing incidence of robbery in the Ashanti Region and said there was the need for stiffer punishment to serve as a deterrent.