A Notorious Armed Robber has been sentenced to thirty-five (35) years in prison with hard labour for robbery and possession of ‘wee’ (marijuana), by a Circuit Court in Accra.
The Accused, Abdulai Serdic and his accomplices, attacked two immigration officers and their friends at Tantra Hill in Accra whilst they had parked one of their cars to fix a mechanical fault. The Accused and his accomplices emerged at the scene and ordered the immigration officers at gun point to surrender everything on them. They also ordered the two immigration officers to lie face down, while their friends (the Immigration Officers’ friends) were marched at gun point into a nearby bush.
The Accused and his accomplices then robbed the Complainants of their Car, two sets of immigration uniforms, cash including U.S. dollars, laptops and mobile phones. Some other items taken away by the Accused and his accomplices included, ‘Kasapreko’ drinks, ‘kenkey’ and fish, bottled water, four Chinese passports and one American passport, among others.
The Accused, Abdulai Serdic, was charged with seven (7) counts of conspiracy to commit crime to wit, robbery, possession of Narcotic Drugs without lawful authority and five (5) counts of robbery, respectively.
The Accused however, denied having committed all the offences leveled against him (he pleaded not guilty to the charges) in both his preliminary statement and evidence-in-chief in court.
The case was therefore fully tried by the court for almost three months before judgment was delivered.
Reading the verdict, the presiding judge, His Honour, Aboagye Tandoh, stated that the assertion by the Accused person that he knew nothing about the robbery was clearly an afterthought, calculated to throw dust into the eyes of the court.
The trial Judge also indicated that indeed he found as a fact that the prosecution led sufficient evidence with respect to Counts Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven against the Accused person.
His Honour, having cited the appropriate authorities and considered the applicable law beyond reasonable doubt, found the Accused guilty of Counts Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Seven, respectively, but acquitted and discharged him on Count One (Conspiracy to commit crime: robbery), stating that the Accused alone could not conspire with himself to rob the Complainants.
The Accused pleaded for mitigation, stating that the court should have mercy on him.
‘The Accused pleaded for mitigation and in considering same, took into consideration whether or not the actions of the Accused will render societal disapproval in light of robberies which seem to have resurfaced in recent times.
The Accused person is therefore sentenced to thirty-five (35) years imprisonment with hard labour on Counts Two, Three, Four, Five and Six, and is sentenced to fifteen (15) years on Count Seven, to run concurrently’, the trial Judge delivered judgment.
Background to the Case
Narrating the brief facts of the case, the prosecutor, Chief Inspector Joyce Ama Kuwornu informed the court that the Accused, Abdulai Serdic, also known as Prince Asante and Wofa Yaw is a Driver who was on bail in a robbery case before the High Court (21), Accra and lives at John Teye in Accra.
The police officer also said that on the 2nd of October, 2015, at about 9:30pm, the Accused and three others (the accused’s accomplices) who are on the run armed themselves with pistols (guns) and embarked on a robbery expedition.
The Accused and his accomplices attacked first Complainant, Patrick Sekyi at gun point in front of his gate at Ofankor whilst he had parked his unregistered VW Passat Car to open his gate.
She further told the court that the Accused and his accomplices subjected the Complainant to a thorough search amidst severe beatings and robbed the Complainant of his unregistered Passat Car, an Apple laptop, an Ipad, a Samsung Galaxy Tab Three (3), a Nokia Lumia and a Samsung S3, and ran away.
Chief Inspector Ama Kuwornu added that on that same night at about 11:00pm, the Accused and his accomplices, driving the stolen VW Car proceeded to Asofa and attacked the second Complainant, Kweku Awusi-Ansah in front of his house whilst he washed his Isuzu Rodeo V6 4×4 with registration number GW 1313-W.
‘The Accused and his accomplices also seized the second Complainant’s Samsung Mobile Phone, robbed him of the Isuzu Rodeo V6 4×4 vehicle, cash, valued at GH¢ 700.00 and fled with their booty towards the Tantra Hill area’ she said.
The Prosecutor also informed the court that at about 12:30am, third and fourth Complainants, Samuel Bediako-Poku and Samuel Simon-Sraha who are immigration officers stationed at Cape Coast and one Lawrence Quacoo and their other friends sitting in a Chrysler Pacifica V6 Salon Car with registration number 7173-13 and a Chevy Equinox, had travelled from Cape Coast through Accra to Berekum for a funeral.
She added that on reaching a section of the road, they bought some fuel and after detecting a mechanical fault on the other vehicle they parked near a friend’s house at Tantra Hill to rectify the fault.
The police officer continued that the Accused and his accomplices sitting in the stolen VW Passat and the Isuzu Rodeo 4×4 emerged at the scene and ordered the third and fourth Complainants to surrender everything on them at gun point, adding that the Accused and his accomplices ordered the two immigration officers to lie face down whilst the others were marched at gun point into a nearby bush.
‘The Armed Robbers robbed the Complainants of their Chrysler Pacifica V6 Salon Car, two ladies’ wrist watches, men’s wrist watch, one iPhone 6+, an Iphone 6 and one iPhone 4 respectively. Other items include an iPad 2, Blood Pressure Monitor, two sets of immigration uniforms, four Chinese passports, three Indian passports, one American passport, two Ghanaian passports, a brown leather wallet containing a Zenith, Barclays and Stanchart VISA debit cards, GCB MasterCard, three European insurance cards, Ghanaian Voter ID and NHIS Cards, Zenith, Unibank Cheque Books, Cash valued at GH¢ 1,000.00 and USD 1,000.00, an ice chest, containing ‘Kasapreko’ drinks, ‘kenkey’ and fish and bottled water all belonging to the Complainant, Samuel Bediako-Poku’ the police officer said.
Chief Inspector Ama Kuwornu further stated that the Complainants, Lawrence Quarcoo and Samuel Simon Sraha were also robbed of the following items,a Samsung Galaxy Tab, an Ipod Touch, an Ipod Classic 160G, a Wireless Router and Charger, One Jabra Bluetooth Earpiece, an iPhone earpiece, Vodafone Wi-Fi, two Polo shirts, two MD external hard drives (500GB), a Samsung X 4 and a Samsung Grand Neo.
The Prosecutor also indicated that the Accused and his accomplices abandoned the VW Passat and Isuzu Rodeo V6 4×4 vehicles they had earlier snatched from the owners, packed all the booty into the Chrysler Pacifica and took off with the items.
She continued that on the 6th of October, 2015, a tracking device on one of the Complainants’ phone revealed that the phone was in a particular house at John Teye in Accra. The tracking device helped the police locate the said house and the Accused was arrested.
‘When a search was conducted on the Accused, the police retrieved from his pocket wrapped dried leaves suspected to be Indian Hemp (‘wee’) and a customized wrist watch belonging to Complainant, Samuel Bediako-Poku. A thorough search was further conducted in the Accused person’s room and one ladies’ wrist watch, an iPhone charger, one ‘Kasapreko’ Barman Herbal Bitters, a car air freshener, which were among the stolen items in the Chrysler Pacifica’, the police officer added.
Chief Inspector Ama Kuwornu also told the court that some other items which were also retrieved from the Accused were drivers’ licenses, Stanchart Visa and Total Tom Card, all in the name of one Karikari Raphael, Eight (8) Passport size photographs of an unknown man were hidden in a black Laptop bag.
The Prosecutor also stated that when the Accused was interrogated, he said that he bought the retrieved items at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, from someone he could not identify
‘The Accused person’s story is spurious (intended to deceive) and directly links him to the robbery.
However, the Accused could not lead the police to the source of the dried leaves. The dried leaves suspected to be Indian Hemp which was sent to the Police Forensic Lab for examination tested positive, so the Accused was charged with the offences of robbery and possession of Narcotic Drugs’, Chief Inspector Ama Kuwornu finally told the court.