A High Court in Bolgatanga presided over by Justice P.K. Richardson, has sentenced one Issahaku Mubarak, a washing bay attendant in the Bawku Municipality, to a 25-years prison term with hard labour for robbery.
He was found guilty and convicted for conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery and the 25-year prison term on each of the two offences would run concurrently.
Issahaku Mubarak was earlier charged by Police with conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery, two counts of causing unlawful damage and possession of explosives, firearms and ammunition.
However, he was acquitted and discharged by the court on the two counts of causing unlawful damage because the Police could not prove the charge against him beyond reasonable doubt. He was also discharged on the offence of possessing explosives, firearms and ammunition, contrary to Section 192(1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960(Act29), as it was a first degree felony, and the court had no jurisdiction to try it summarily; thereby, leaving only the charges of conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery dealt with.
The facts of the case, according to prosecution were that, on June 1, 2009, at about 1:00 a.m., four masked armed men, broke into House No. D 202, at Zongo in the Bawku Municipality of the Upper East Region and robbed the occupants of the house of their valuables made up of four mobile phones, a Yamaha motor-bike with registration number GT 2770 Y, a television set, a video deck and an unspecified amount of money
belonging to the late Felix Asibi, then Bawku Municipal Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), his parents and two other occupants of the house.
Before they stole the items, the armed men subjected some occupants of the house who were then sleeping in the open, to severe beating and locked them up in one of the rooms. All this while, Mr. Asibi and his parents were in their separate rooms.
When Mr. Asibi’s mother, Georgina Asibi rushed out to see what was happening, one of the armed men hit her forehead with the gun. The masked men then started searching for Mr. Asibi and when they found him, they dragged him out into the middle of the compound and shot him dead, after which they left the house with the stolen items.
After they had left, Mrs. Asibi ran to the police station to report the case. Unfortunately, none of the four men could be
identified due to the mask they wore on their faces.
According to the prosecution, on that same day, June 1, 2009, at about 10:00 p.m., a joint military and police patrol team on operation in the Bawku Municipality, had information that a certain man was keeping ammunition in a house at Yelwongo, a suburb of Bawku. The security men entered the said house and in one of the rooms they found the accused, Issahaku Mubarak hiding behind a door. They then conducted a thorough search in the room, where they found 10 mobile phones, two mobile phone chargers, two G-3 riffle ammunition and some foreign currencies.
During the investigation process, the siblings of Mr.
Asibi, the deceased, identified one of the phones as their late brother’s and this was why the Police linked the accused to the robbery and killing of the then Bawku Municipal Boss of CHRAJ, Felix Asibi.
Though the accused denied the two charges of conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery against him, he did not deny that the phone identified was neither for the late Asibi nor part of the 10 phones found in his room. Rather, he said in his defence that he was at the washing bay at 2:00 p.m. on June 2, 2009, when one Seidu came with nine phones to be charged at a barbering shop called O.C. Because the barber was not in, Seidu asked him (Issahaku Mubarak) to keep the phones and give them out to the barber to charge when he came back to the shop.
Whilst working at the washing bay, he and many others around heard some gunshots all over the place and everybody around the area started running for safety. So he had to also run home with the nine phones for safety, because the barber had not returned, at the time of the incident.
While prosecution said the accused was arrested at 10:00 in the
evening of the same day the late Mr. Asibi was killed, the accused insisted that it was a day after the robbery and killing had taken place, which was on June 2, 2009.
However, the Judge, Justice P.K. Richardson in his judgment said, whether the accused was arrested at 10:00pm on June 1, 2009 or 10:00pm June 2, 2009, it was immaterial because, it was not in dispute that the accused was arrested and he was arrested with Felix’s phone among other phones some time after 1:00 a.m. on June 1, 2009, when the robbery was done.
The murder of the late Bawku Municipal CHRAJ boss was still regarded as one of the unfortunate killings that occurred in Bawku Municipality during the chaotic days and people especially, his colleagues at CHRAJ, have been looking forward to the day the killers would be arrested and prosecuted.
From: Ebo Bruce-Quansah, Bolgatanga