Accused persons in Tema mechanic’s death arraigned before court

Crime Tema Murder
Crime Tema Murder

Three persons accused of robbing and killing a mechanic in Tema have been put before a Kaneshie District Court.

The pleas of Benjamin Essel, Latif Nashiru and Michael Tetteh, were not taken.

They have been charged for conspiring to rob and kill James Tetteh Laweh, 33, a Mechanic, over a vehicle. 

They have been remanded to be brought back to court on June 2, 2022.

Two of their accomplices are currently at large. 

Police Inspector Margaret Ofori Boadi told the Court presided over by Mr Oheneba Tuffour that all the accused persons are unemployed residents of Ashaiman. 

She said Samuel Ankomah, the complainant, was a foreman at Mahak Ghana Limited-Tema.

The Prosecution said on February 18, 2022, Felix Tetteh Batse, deceased’s brother, received a call from an unknown mobile number and the caller expressed interest in buying his unregistered Toyota RAV4 vehicle and demanded to have a proper look at the vehicle before buying same. 

Police Inspector Margaret said on April 22, 2022, Essel again placed a call to Batse with the same mobile number and demanded the pictures of the said vehicle which were sent to him by Batse. 

Essel, she said, on receipt of the photographs, he introduced himself as a Medical Doctor working at the Community 22 Poly Clinic and demanded PW2 to produce same to him for inspection. 

Prior to that, Batse had given out Ankomah’s mobile number to Essel to liaise with him for the inspection but Ankomah could not assist due to work. 

Prosecution said a day after, Essel again called on Batse to produce the said vehicle to him for inspection at the Tema Community 22 Poly Clinic and without hesitation Batse then called the deceased to proceed with vehicle for inspection. 

Ankomah then released the ignition keys to Laweh to be taken to Essel, where he proceeded to Tema Community 22 Poly Clinic for inspection by Essel.

Inspector Margaret said Essel expressed interest in the vehicle and demanded for its documents and on April 25, 2022, Ankomah met Laweh, the deceased person, at the Tema Community 4 Roundabout and proceeded to Tema Community 22 Poly Clinic for inspection by the “Medical Doctor” Essel.

Essel, together with the Laweh sat in the Toyota RAV4 for the inspection as bargaining also took place but it was detected that the Form C and GRA (Ghana Revenue Authority) receipts were missing from the vehicle documents. 

Essel then asked Laweh to get them so that he could pay for same after they arrived at a price. Laweh together with Ankomah returned to their warehouse at Kpone for the documents but could not trace same.

They then made enquiries from a DVLA official who assured them that he could help in the registration process with Essel’s name and passport sized photos. 

Prosecution said Essel was informed of the arrangement and he asked Laweh to return to him for the passport sizes, adding that Ankomah and Laweh on reaching the Tema Community 22 Poly Clinic, met Essel in a brownish suit in the company of another accomplice, now at large. 

Essel then instructed the escapee to take control of the steering wheel so that he could get his passport sized photos from a nearby house for Laweh for the registration processes. 

The escapee, the Court heard, then drove Ankomah and Laweh to a house closer to the Bampoe Hotel on Mawuli close Street, where he identified as the place where the passport sized photos were to be obtained.

Inspector Margaret said the escapee alighted from the vehicle for a while, making a call. Laweh became suspicious of his actions so he took the ignition keys and turned the vehicle whilst Ankomah also stood there making a call.

Suddenly Nashiru, Tetteh and a second escapee, also at large, emerged on a motorbike, where Nashiru and the second escapee ambushed Laweh whilst Tetteh pursued Ankomah. 

She said they pounced on Laweh who threw the ignition key into a nearby bush, incurring the wrath of Nashiru, who shot him in the neck.

The Police Inspector said Nashiru, Tetteh and the two escapees on sensing danger fled, leaving the RAV vehicle behind.

Ankomah, who escaped, made a report to the Police. Police proceeded to the scene and met Laweh in a pool of blood. He was sent to the Tema General hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. His body was deposited at the morgue. 

On May 02, 2022, the Anti-Armed Robbery Unit of CID headquarters gathered intelligence that, Essel, Nashiru, Tetteh and others did rob and murder Laweh. 

Essel, Nashiru and Tetteh were heading to the Amasaman China Mall area for another robbery expedition but were arrested. 

A search on Nashiru and Tetteh revealed two locally made pistols plus ten rounds of 9mm ammunition. 

During interrogation, Essel admitted posing as a medical doctor to purchase the complainant’s vehicle and meeting the deceased and Ankomah at Tema Community 22 Poly Clinic on April 25, 2022. 

He told the Police that he was later informed by Nashiru and Tetteh that the driver of the vehicle had been murdered. 

Nashiru on the other hand admitted having shot and killed Laweh together with Tetteh but it was on the instructions of Essel and the first escapee.

After the robbery, they fled together with the first escapee, adding that the said weapon used in the murder of Laweh was brought in by Essel who hired same from a gangster at Ashaiman. 

Prosecution said on May 5, 2022, an identification parade was conducted at the forecourt of the CID headquarters where Ankomah identified Essel as the medical doctor who wore a golden ring and black ring on the day of incident.

Ankomah also identified Nashiru and Tetteh who came to the scene on a motorbike to murder Laweh. Investigations revealed that, Essel, Nashiru, Tetteh and the two escapees agreed and murdered Laweh at close range. 

The pathologist’s report stated that the deceased sustained a grievous gunshot wound at close range. 

Meanwhile, efforts are underway to arrest their accomplices.

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