Accra, March 31, GNA - A businessman, Chukwudi Ukala, was on Wednesday sentenced to 25 years imprisonment by an Accra Circuit Court for robbery.
He robbed one Jato Peter and Shamsudeen Mohammed of a Sony Laptop valued at GH₵ 2,500.00, five assorted mobile phones estimated at GH₵900.00 and assorted recharge cards valued at GH₵1,500.00, and an amount of GH₵22,000.00.
Chukwudi pleaded not guilty to the charge but was found guilty by the court, presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh, after full trial.
The court, during sentencing, explained that the convict was the master schemer of the robbery operation based on evidence.
It said the prosecution was able to establish beyond doubt that the convict and his accomplices robbed the complainant and, as such, found him guilty of the charge of conspiracy.
The court said it took into consideration the period already spent in custody and the plea for mitigation by the convict, and gave him a deterrent sentence to prevent other young people from committing such offences.
Earlier the prosecutor, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Kweku Bempah, told the court that the complainants were senior high school graduates; David Jato and Shamsudeen Mohammed, who operate a mobile money shop called Winners Multimedia, while the convict was businessman residing at Koforidua.
He said on August 21, 2015 at about 1730 hours, the convict visited the shop when Jato was there and withdrew GH₵800.00 from his MTN mobile money account. On the same day, around 2050 hours, both complainants were at the shop when he came back again and indicated to Jato that he wanted to withdraw GH₵500.00 from his account.
The prosecutor said Jato put in the request but the transaction was aborted. Chukwudi stood at the main entrance of the shop and beckoned some people.
DSP Bempah said suddenly two men, armed with a pistol and knife, entered the shop and ordered the complainants to lie down and keep mute. The convict stood at the main entrance observing the movement of people who could thwart their operation as the two men held the complainants hostage.
DSP Bempah said the assailant, who was armed with the knife, slit the throat of Shamsudeen without any provocation and also stabbed Jato.
He said the assailants took the above listed items and after the operation, ordered Jato to hand over the key to the shop to them. Jato showed them where he normally hanged the key but they could not find it there and rather found it beneath the counter.
He said this infuriated the assailants and they used the knife to inflict wounds on Jato’s face. Thereafter they locked the complainants in the shop and escaped with their booty on a motorbike.
Jato, the owner of the shop, alerted the MTN office and gave Chukwudi’s MTN account number to them. The MTN office temporarily suspended his account to pave way for investigations.
DSP Bempah said on August 25, 2015, the convict visited the Koforidua MTN office to re-activate his account, the complainants were alerted, and with the assistant of the police, he was arrested.
He said the convict was identified by the complainants as the person who masterminded the crime.