An Accra High Court has admitted in evidence the investigation caution statements of four accused persons standing trial for kidnapping two Canadian girls at Kumasi in 2019.
The four; Sampson Aghalor, aka Romeo, a 27-year-old Computer Engineer, Elvis Ojiyorwe, 27, businessman, Jeff Omarsar, 28, tiler, who are all Nigerians, and Yusif Yakubu, a resident of Kumasi, had argued that their statements were taken under intimidation and torture.
However, the court, presided over by Mrs Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, ruled that the accused persons voluntarily made their statements, hence overruled their objection.
It said it found the allegation of the four to be rehearsed because “in their evidence in chief they indicated that no statement was taken from them while in the custody of the National Investigation Bureau.”
“But under cross examination the accused said they gave some statements to the police,” the court said.
After the close of prosecution’s case in the trial, accused were asked to open their defence.
In their evidence in chief, they held that they did not make the statement as claimed by the Police and even if they did, it was because they were subjected to beatings and torture.
Prosecution, led by Senior State Attorney, Mrs Hilda Craig, said the accused persons made voluntary statements.
They have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit crime to wit kidnapping, and two counts of kidnapping but have denied the charges.
An all-Ghanaian security operation, led by the National Security on June 11, 2019, rescued the two Canadians; Lauren Tilley and Bailey Chittey, who were abducted at the gate of their hostel at Nhyiaeso, a Kumasi suburb.
The Canadians were in the country to do voluntary work.
The accused persons kept them in an uncompleted building on the outskirts of the town and demanded a ransom of $800,000.
The two ladies had boarded an Uber, a car hailing service, to their hostel at Nhyiaeso behind the Vienna Hotel but were accosted by the accused persons when they arrived at their destination and alighted from the car.
However, on June 11, 2019, security operatives arrested Yakubu at his house and he also led them to arrest Aghalor at Aboabo.
The security also arrested Orjiyorwe and Omarsa at Amoam Achaise, whilst they held on to the victims amidst exchanges of fire. Orjiyorme and Omarsa also threatened to kill the victims if the security operatives did not retreat.
The two were arrested and the victims rescued. A search at the crime scene revealed items including a hand grenade, knives, pistols, and other personal effects of the victims.