A 24-year-old Nigerian, Isaac Aigbona, has been sentenced to 36 years in prison for his role in the kidnapping and robbing of a 46-year-old businesswoman at Mile Seven in Accra.
Aigbona pleaded guilty to four counts of conspiracy to rob, robbery, causing harm and kidnapping and was sentenced on his own plea by the Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh.
He was, however, discharged on the count of conspiracy because his suspected accomplice, identified only as Charles, is yet to be arrested to face the law.
More trouble for Aigbona
The convict, together with Charles, attacked the businesswoman, Mrs Atlanta Frimpong, at her residence, robbed her of her items, kidnapped her and also hit the head of her houseboy with a heavy metal, making him unconscious.
The houseboy, Emmanuel Botchway, 22, was admitted to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, but later died of the injuries he sustained.
In view of the death of Botchway, the police have reviewed the case docket and have further charged Aigbona with murder.
He is expected to appear before a district court for committal proceedings, a prelude to a murder trial at the High Court.
The prosecutor, Inspector Samuel Ahiabor, told the court that Aigbona, who hawks SIM cards in Accra, and Charles laid ambush in the house of Mrs Frimpong and held her hostage at about 9:30 p.m. on April 1, 2019 when she returned home from work.
They tied her hands and legs, while pointing an implement that looked like a pistol and a kitchen knife at her, and demanded that she give them all the money in her bag and any other money in the house or they would kill her.
The victim handed her handbag, which contained GH¢1,000 and $1,400 to the robbers, who also removed her gold engagement ring and necklace.
Attack on houseboy, kidnapping
While they were demanding more money, Botchway entered the compound and after threatening him with the kitchen knife, he was made to join his employer in the sitting room.
While in the sitting room, Aigbona hit Botchway on the head with a heavy metal which rendered him unconscious.
The two kidnappers then blindfolded Mrs Frimpong and forced her into her Nissan Murano 4x4 vehicle with her hands tied at the back. They also took some personal effects of the victim’s husband.
They drove her and took her to a bush around ‘Amasaman Agric’ where they called the husband of their victim, who was in Kumasi, and demanded a ransom in exchange of his wife.
A police patrol team chanced on the vehicle which was parked close to the bush, leading to the arrest of Aigbona while his accomplice escaped with the money, jewellery and other personal effects of the victim.
No peace for kidnappers
Meanwhile, the Accra Regional Police Operations Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ACP), Mr Kwesi Ofori, has said the police will employ all measures to bring the persons behind the surge in kidnapping in the country to book.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, he said the Accra Regional Police Command had in less than a month rescued two kidnapped victims through its targeted operations towards kidnappers in the region.
The rescued victims include the Consular General and Head of Mission of Estonia to Ghana, Mr Nabil Makram Bosbous, who was kidnapped last Thursday, April 18, 2019, and Mrs Frimpong, who was kidnapped by Aigbona and Charles on April 1, 2019 from her house at Mile Seven in Accra.
“As part of the measures to stop kidnapping, we are employing effective policing, targeted operations towards kidnappers and community engagements and we have also started an anti-kidnapping campaign led by the Public Relations Officer of the Accra Regional Police Command, Deputy Superintend of Police Mrs Effia Tenge. We know this will help us win the war,” he said.
“Kidnapping for ransom is a foreign-related crime in our country.
It has not been part of Ghana’s criminal history. We have realised that it is being perpetrated by foreigners and the police will do whatever is within their power to rid the country of such criminals,” he said.
He called on the public to support the police by providing useful information that would lead to the arrest of such perpetrators.
Citing the case of the kidnappers who held Mr Bosbous hostage in a rented apartment, he said the police “are working around the clock to arrest the three suspects behind the kidnapping.”
He advised landlords to abide by the rent control and other laws before renting out apartments to people and also take the details of their tenants, including their photographs.
“Landlords would be held responsible in such criminal cases. They must know their tenants and when the tenants lead suspicious lives they should be the first to inform the police.
We have invited the landlord who rented his house to the three Nigerians who kidnapped the Consular General and Head of Mission of Estonia to Ghana,” he stated.