Koala robbers charged

Three of the seven-man robbery syndicate that trailed and robbed one Lydia Horsu, a marketing administrator of Koala Shopping Centre, have been hauled before An Accra circuit court.

They are Michael Edoe Ahiataku aka Old Soldier, a private security guard; Gilbert Osabutey aka Obolo, shop supervisor and Frederick Sedro Kwame aka Fred, private security guard.

Two other accomplices – Stanley Obaliko aka Mohammed Sulemana and Okoe Quarcoe, unemployed, are currently on admission at the Police Hospital due to injuries they sustained when a taxi driver knocked them down with his car during the rob­bery.

The police have also intensified the search for two other members of the gang currently on the run.

The gang is said to have at about 8am on Janu­ary 9 this year, conspired and robbed the victim of her Nokia phone worth ₵800, a black ladies’ bag valued at ₵200 a Koala ID card, invoices and ₵100.

Sulemana is facing an additional charge of pos­sessing one automatic MAB foreign pistol no PA151674189, six live 9mm ammunition and five empty cartridges.

Sulemana and Okoe are also standing trial for intentionally and unlawful­ly causing grievous harm to Lydia.

The three, before trial judge Aboagye Tandoh, denied the charges and were remanded to reap­pear on January 27, 2016.

Duuti Tuaruka said on January 6, the three hatched a plan to rob the shopping centre and sought the assistance of the two suspects on the run, who also in turn recruited Sulemana and Okoe to carry out the plan.

He said on January 8, all the accused persons met at the shopping centre at Cantonments in Accra and Obolo, who is the shop advisor, briefed them about the movements of Lydia and they agreed to rob her the following day.

Chief Supt. Tuaruka stated that at about 8am on January 9 Lydia came to the shopping centre at the Cantonments branch but changed her mind and decided to pick only the company’s invoices and voucher to audit them and left for the Airport branch of the shop.

The prosecutor said Obolo, seeing Lydia leav­ing Koala, called Old Sol­dier and Fred on phone who in turn alerted Sulem­ana and Okoe who were on board a BMW motorbike near the centre.

Chief Supt. Tuaruka disclosed that Sulemana and Okoe trailed Lydia to a section of the road near the American Embassy at Can­tonments, adding that Okoe, who was a pillion rider, alighted, pointed a pistol at the lady and ordered her to surrender her handbag to him.

The police officer held that Lydia initially refused to comply and raised an alarm which provoked Okoe to push her to the ground, forcibly snatched the bag from her, shot her twice in her left thigh and calf and sped off.

He said a cabbie, who saw the incident, chased them with his vehicle and knocked them off the motorbike, leading to the arrest of the accused per­son.

Lydia is currently on admission at the 37 Mili­tary Hospital.

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