An Accra Circuit Court on Monday denied bail to five out of the nine suspects alleged to have abetted in the escape of three persons from lawful custody at the Kwabenya Police Station.
Counsels for Nancy Denta, George Yeboah, Edward Lartey, Elvis Owusu, and Theophilus Bandah at the previous sitting on February 13 prayed the court for bail, but the court deferred the ruling on the bail applications to February 26.
The court Presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh in his ruling said given the allegations raised against the suspects, the court has among other grounds weighed whether to ignore the issues raised and grant bail or remand the suspects at the mercy of the prosecution who may not be ready to start prosecution.
He said the court had weighed the circumstances in the case, as well as the rights of the suspects to have a speedy but realistic trial and hold the view that bail must be refused at this stage and resort to an expeditious trial.
He, however, adjourned the matter to March 9, 12, 14, and 15, for the commencement of trial, cautioning the prosecution to get all their witnesses ready as excuses would be tolerated.
At the last sitting, two of the accused who pleaded guilty to the charges of escape from lawful custody was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment each.
The two are, Prince Osei and Atta Kwadwo the third accused, Kofi Darko, who was also charged with the same offences, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The three were part of escapees freed by some robbers, after they attacked the Kwabenya Police Station, killing a Police Officer on duty some cell inmates on January 21, this year.
The facts of the case as presented by Prosecution led by Superintendent of Police, Kweku Bempah were that the complainants are Policemen stationed at Kwabenya District Headquarters.
Prince Osei, 25, is a scrap dealer living at Glefe Dansoman; Atta Kwadwo, 20, is a driver; and Kofi Darko, 25 also a trader living at Glefe, Dansoman. Nancy is 28 and lives at Dome, and George Yeboah is 30 and lives around the Graphic Road.
Prince Kofi Acheampong is 32 and lives at Afienya; Edward Lartey is 20 and lives at Tema Newtown; Kofi Seshie is 28, George Sarbah is 23, Elvis is 31, George Asante is 33, and Theophilus is 25.
Mr Bempah said on January 21, at about 0130 hours, a gang of armed men numbering six planned and attacked the Kwabenya Police station and freed their colleagues who were being held in detention for various violent crimes.
He told the court that in the execution of their plan, the assailants proceeded to the station whilst two of them who pretended to have a complaint to lodge, entered the charge office and told the counter Non-Commission Officer (NCO) that someone borrowed money from them and had refused to pay back.
The counter NCO No. 43225 G/Cpl. Robert Owusu advised them to seek a redress at the civil court since the case they were reporting was a civil matter, the two then signalled the rest, who had laid ambush within the premises, and launched an attack on the Policemen at the charge office.
The prosecution said they shot Inspector Emmanuel Ashilevi, who was on duty as a Monitoring Officer on the right buttocks, held the counter NCO, his counter orderly, the charge office guard, and the night Investigator hostages.
He said they took the keys to the cells and released seven of the inmates, namely, Chibuzor Akwuba, Emmanuel Kotey, Rockson Edem Dzigbede, Dickson Ofori, Prince Osei, Attah Kwadwo, and Kofi Darko.
After the armed attack, the assailants fled the scene, the NCO and the night Investigator arranged for an ambulance and rushed Inspector Asilevi to the Police Hospital for treatment, but they were referred to the 37 Military Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Mr Bempah told the court that, Police intelligence, led to the arrest of George Yeboah, who assisted Prince Osei and Attah Kwadwo with GH¢ 200.00 to escape out of the jurisdiction.
He also gave GH¢ 40.00 to Kofi Darko to enable him to escape from the jurisdiction.
He said on January 23, Police intelligence led to the arrest of Prince Osei and Attah Kwadwo at Worawora in the Volta Region.
Investigations also revealed that whiles in detention, on January 18, Prince Osei overheard the other inmates planning to escape.
According to the Police, in the evening on the same day, Nancy brought a mobile phone to Dickson in the cells, which he used to contact his people outside to execute the escape plan.
Rockson’s brother also brought a hacksaw blade to him by hiding it in bread to cut the padlocks to the cells but he could not do so.
He said upon interrogation, Prince Osei, said he stole a gun from Prince Kofi Acheampong.
He also revealed that Dickson and Chibuzor are Acheampong’s boys whom he normally sends out on robbery trips.
Mr Bempah said further investigations also revealed that it was Acheampong in collaboration with Dickson and Chibuzor who sent the armed men to attack and release them from the cells, which led to the death of the Inspector.
On January 25, at about 0200 hours, Acheampong was arrested together with Edward from their hideout at Afienya.
The prosecution said on January 27 at about 0230 hours, Attah led the Police to a house at Kasoa Nyanyano and pointed Kofi Seshie to the Police as one of the gang members who came to rescue them from the cells and also shot and killed the Inspector.
He said the rest are all suspected accomplices arrested to assist in police investigations.