Canadian Girls Kidnap: Court accepts 3 pistols, 52 live ammunition into evidence

The Accra High Court has admitted into evidence pistols, live ammunition and other items retrieved from accused persons who kidnapped two Canadian girls.

On Wednesday, July 21, 2021, the court took possession of 52 live ammunition, including one grenade, three pistols, six empty bullet shells, and a metal box.

The grenade was, however, not brought to court due to its delicate nature.

In place of the grenade was a report from the Base Ammunition Department and a picture to show that indeed the grenade was part of the items retrieved at the accused persons’ hideout in Kumasi.

The items were tendered through the eleventh prosecution witness, Detective Corporal Augustine Dery, during his evidence in chief on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

Counsels for the accused persons did not object to the court accepting the live ammunitions, pistols and empty bullet shells.

They, however, objected to the tendering of the metal box and the grenade report.

Victor Atsu Abada is counsel for Sampson Agharlor, and Yaw Dankwa is counsel for the remaining three – Elvis Ojiyorwe, Jeff Omarsar and Yusif Yakubu.

The lawyers argued that the witness was not the author of the report, and in effect, cannot speak to the content.

Prosecution led by Winnifred Sarpong disagreed.

She said a proper foundation had been laid for tendering the metal box and the report.

She explained that the witness had mentioned that he was part of the investigators, and as part of their work, they can tender any item retrieved from a crime scene.

The trial judge Lydia Osei Marfo sided with the prosecution and admitted the evidence.

The case continues on July 21, 2021.

Background

Four accused persons – Sampson Agharlor, Elvis Ojiyorwe, Jeff Omarsar and Yusif Yakubu – stand trial for conspiracy charges to kidnap and kidnap.

They have all pleaded not guilty.

The four are being held for their various roles in kidnapping Miss Lauren Patricia Catherine Tiley and Miss Bailey Jordan Chilley.

The Canadian girls who were kidnapped in Kumasi

The two University of New Brunswick students were abducted on June 4, 2019, while volunteering for a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Kumasi.

They were rescued that same month, which led to the arrest of the suspects.

According to a news release from the Ghana Police Service, the two are believed to have been abducted at the Kumasi Royal Golf Club at about 8:25 pm.

Medical reports confirmed the girls were returned physically unhurt.

Facts of the case

Prosecution said the first accused person Aghalor who had been in Ghana for some time became a friend to Yakubu in March 2019.

In the course of their friendship, the first accused brought up the idea of kidnapping as a lucrative venture, an idea later accepted by Yakubu.

Yakubu is said to have agreed to assist Aghalor in the kidnapping and even helped procure a pistol for the task ahead.

To help with the plan, Agharlor went to Nigeria in May 2019 and recruited the two other accused persons — Elvis Ojiyorwe and Jeff Omarsar.

The three Nigerians, upon their arrival in Ghana, resided at Ashaiman for some time before they went to Kumasi to meet Yakubu.

When they got to Kumasi the first accused gave some money to Yakubu to hire a car, an apartment, buy pistols and other items to enable them put their plan in motion.

Prosecution said on June 4, 2019, the accused persons who were in a car, accosted the two Canadian girls, who had boarded an Uber taxi at their hostel at Nhyiaeso, a suburb of Kumasi.

The four accused persons are said to have assaulted and forced the girls into their vehicle amid shooting.

They then sped off with their victims to their hideout, which was an uncompleted building at Kenyasi Krobo, another suburb of Kumasi.

After successfully executing their plan, the first accused who is the mastermind of the plot contacted the families of the kidnapped girls and demanded $800,000.

Luck, however run out when a National Security team, led by Colonel Micheal Opoku, acting on intelligence, arrested Yakubu on June 11, 2019.

The team now proceeded to arrest Aghalor, Ojiyorwe and Omarsar at their hideout at Kenyasi Krobo and rescued the two girls.

“During the rescue mission, Ojiyorwe and Omarsar threatened to kill the victims if the security agents dared them. They exchanged fire with the security agents until they were overpowered and arrested,” prosecution added.

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