6 Kumasi Kidnappers Caged

The suspects at court yesterday

Six persons who allegedly kidnapped two Canadian girls in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region early this month have been remanded in the custody of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) by an Accra High Court.

The
suspects were hauled before a criminal division of the court by state
prosecutors led by Hilda Craig and Winifred Sarpong – both senior state
attorneys – to be remanded, while security agencies conclude their
investigations into the matter.

Sampson
Aghalor, aka Romeo, Elvis Ojiyorwe, Jeff Omarsar, Yusif Yakubu, Abdul Nasir and
Seidu Abubakar,  aka Mba, are facing four
counts of conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping.

An
all-Ghanaian security operation led by the National Security last Wednesday rescued
the two Canadian ladies who were abducted from the gates of their hostel in a
Kumasi suburb last week.

Plan

Presenting
the brief fact to the court, Hilda Craig stated that Sampson Aghalor, who is a
Nigerian and had been staying in the country for some time now, struck
acquaintance with Yusif Yakubu, a Ghanaian and they became good friends.

She
said in the course of their friendship, Sampson Aghalor discussed the idea of
engaging in kidnapping with Yusif Yakubu, who agreed to assist him in his
nefarious activities.

According
to the prosecution, Aghalor then assisted Yakubu to procure a pistol.

Recruitment

In
a bid to further their plans of kidnappings, Aghalor allegedly went to Nigeria
and recruited Elvis Ojiyorwe and Jeff Omarsar, who are also Nigerians to join
their group.

The
court heard that Aghalor, Elvis Ojiyorwe and Jeff Omarsar, upon their return to
Ghana sometime in May, initially stayed at Ashaiman for a while and then proceeded
to Kumasi where they met Yusif Yakubu.

The
accused persons, according to the police, were demanding $800,000 as ransom
before they would release the girls.

Preparations

“While
in Kumasi, the four accused persons held discussions on how to proceed with their
kidnapping activities. Sampson Aghalor who was the financier of the criminal
gang gave Yusif Yakubu money to rent a vehicle and an apartment in a secluded
area and two pistols and ammunition for their activities,” Ms. Craig told the
court.

She
narrated that on June 4, 2019, Yusif Yakubu contacted a car rental company at
Aboabo and rented a Toyota Corolla saloon car for GH¢400.00.

Operation

The
prosecutor continued, “In the evening of the same day (June 4), the four
accused persons on board the vehicle went round in search of victims. Ms.
Lauren Patricia Catherine Tilley and Ms. Bailey Jordan Chilly who are Canadians
were in Kumasi to participate in a youth programme organised by the Youth
Challenge International.”

According
to Ms. Craig, the two ladies had boarded an Uber to their hostel at Nhyiaeso
behind the Vienna Hotel, but were accosted by the accused persons when they
arrived at their destination and alighted from the Uber.

“The
accused persons assaulted the victims and forced them into their vehicle amidst
shooting. The four accused then sped off with the victims to their hide-out
which was in an uncompleted building at Kenyasi Krobo, a suburb of Kumasi,” the
court heard.

$800,000.00 Ransom

Mr.
Craig also told the court that the accused person had demanded $800,000 from
the parents of the victims before they would release them.

She
told the court that Elvis Ojiyorwe and Jeff Omarsar were guarding the victims
while Sampson Aghalor contacted the parents of the victims to negotiate the
ransom.

Assault Impression

The
court also heard how in an attempt to create an impression to the families of
the victims that they had been seriously tortured, the accused persons smeared
blood all over the victims and on the floor of the building.

The suspects also took pictures of blood-soaked victims and forwarded same to their families in Canada to compel them to pay the $800,000 ransom.

Arrest

Ms.
Craig further told the court that the suspects were arrested on June 9 by a
National Security team led by Col. Michael Opoku from their hide-outs at
Kenyasi-Krobo.

She
said during the rescue mission, Elvis Ojiyorwe and Jeff 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. She said Abdul Nasir and Seidu were later arrested after the other four
mentioned them as being part of the plan to kidnap,” she said.

She
told the court that investigations were still ongoing.

The court presided over by Justice George Buadi remanded them to reappear on July 1.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak



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