Row Over Kumasi Kidnappers Cash

The suspects

There appears to be a disagreement between the
police and some four persons on trial for allegedly kidnapping two Canadian
ladies in Kumasi in June this year over how much money they had on them at the time
of their arrest.

While Jeff Omarsa, one of the accused, claims the
police are holding on to his GH¢600, the investigator in the matter, Detective
Mathew Anokye, told the court yesterday that there was no such money with the
police.

The detective, however, agreed that Sampson
Aghalor, the mastermind of the kidnapping group, has GH¢650 with the police
which will be released to him as directed by the court.

The issue generated heated argument between the
accused person’s counsel, Yaw Dankwa, and Hilda Craig, a senior state attorney
prosecuting the case.

The prosecutor became infuriated when counsel
suggested in court that the police were keeping the money to themselves.

Mr. Dankwa, in his submission, pleaded with the
court to summon the person holding the monies and items taken from the accused
persons to ascertain how much money Jeff Omarsa actually has with the police.

He said there was nowhere in the police practice
regulations which allow them to take money from an accused person and keep it
to themselves without disclosing which bank it has been deposited and the
interest accrued, if any.

The prosecutor described the counsel’s allegation
as unfortunate, saying Jeff Omarsa was not the only person whose items were
taken after the arrest.

She said those who were discharged had all
their items, including monies, some of which were dollars returned to them.

Mrs. Craig added that the accused persons were
arrested in Kumasi and all the items taken from them were listed in the chain of
custody records and they would do well to cross-check.

When queried by the court as to who would be
the best person to have knowledge on the items taken from the accused persons,
the investigator, Detective Anokye, said ACP Apenteng is the supervising
officer in charge of the case, adding that when the accused persons were
arrested, exhibits were listed in Kumasi before they were brought to Accra.

The court presided over by Justice Georgina
Mensah-Datsa ordered the police to release the GH¢650 to
Sampson Aghalor and further ordered ACP Apenteng to appear before the court to
explain how much Jeff Omarsa has with the police.

Disclosures

Meanwhile, Justice Mensah-Datsa has indicated
that she is willing to begin the trial with the disclosures that the prosecution
has so far made since it is a continuous process.

Initially, eight persons were arrested for the kidnapping which attracted local and international media attention but later four persons were released after the investigation.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak

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