The Seven Men who are facing criminal charges of possession of firearms, unlawful training and abetment of unlawful possession of firearms have been granted bail by a Circuit Court in Accra.
Appearing before the Court Wednesday, the Prosecution informed the Presiding Judge that on February 10, 2016, a duplicate docket of the case was forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office for advice, adding that the docket had since not been assigned to the State Attorney for continuation of the case.
The presiding judge, His Honour, Aboagye Tandoh admitted bail in the sum of GH 20,000.00 cedis each with two sureties to the Seven Accused persons, stating that one of the sureties must be a public servant.
When the Accused persons made their first appearance in court January 2016, the Prosecution told the Court that when the Accused persons’ respective homes were searched, sixteen (16) Spent AK 47 Ammunition Shells were found concealed in a bag in the room of the Seventh Accused. The Police Officer added that in the home of the fourth Accused, a Toshiba laptop computer found to contain videos and documentaries of Islamic Militant activities was recovered.
The Accused persons are Issah Suale, Mahama Saani Muftawu, Alhassan Abdul-Dayan and Mohammed Alhassan. The rest are Andani Mohammed Taufig, Abdulai Ibrahim Wumpini and one Iddrisu Ibrahim who is on the run. They were charged with three counts of possession of firearms, unlawful training and abetment of unlawful possession of firearms respectively but they denied the charges leveled against them by the Police.
‘My Lord, the facts of the case do not support the charges leveled against the Accused persons. As a matter of fact My Lord, the Accused persons were electrocuted, beaten and assaulted before their Caution Statements were taken by the police’, Lawyer for the Accused persons, Alex Mantey Osei contended.
Counsel for the Accused persons also said that when the Accused persons’ Caution Statements were taken by the Police in Tamale, the Police warned them not to say anything contrary to the Caution Statements they had already given to the Police when they were transferred from Tamale to the Police headquarters in Accra.
The case has been adjourned to Friday, the 29th of April, 2016.
Background to the Case
Narrating the facts of the case, the Prosecutor, DSP Aidan Dery informed the Court that the first Accused, Issah Suale is a Mason while the second accused, Mahama Sanni Muftawu is a Trader and the third accused, Iddrisu Ibrahim who is on the run is a Teacher.
The Prosecutor added that the fourth Accused, Mohammed Alhassan is a Nurse at Tamale Teaching Hospital while the fifth Accused, Alhassan Abdul-Dayan is a Teacher and a student of Valley View University College at the Techiman Campus, the sixth Accused, Abdulai Ibrahim Wumpini is an Auto Mechanic while the seventh Accused, Umar Ibrahim Alhassan is an Auto Mechanic and the eighth Accused, Andani Mohammed Taufiq is a Teacher.
The Police Officer also said that all the Accused persons live in the suburbs at Tamale, adding that with the exception of the sixth Accused, the rest of the Accused persons are members of ‘Tabligh Brothers’, which is an International Mobile Preacher’s Wing of Sunni Muslims. DSP Dery further stated that on the 24th of December, 2015, the first, second and the third Accused persons arrived at Dzantong-Daboise village near Salaga on two motorbikes with a package tied on one of the bikes.
The youth in the community, who suspected that the first, second and the third Accused persons were ‘Sakawa’ ritual murderers looking for a place to bury the corpse of their victim approached them, he added. The Prosecutor also told the court that the youth arrested the first and the second Accused persons while the third Accused person ran away.
DSP Dery reiterated that two (2) AK 47 Assault Rifles were found in the accused persons’ package adding that shortly after the arrest, the fourth to eighth Accused persons re-surfaced into the community to rescue the Accused person who had been arrested. ‘When the Accused persons’ respective homes were searched, sixteen (16) Spent AK 47 Ammunition Shells were found concealed in a bag in the room of the seventh Accused. In that of the fourth Accused, a Toshiba laptop computer found to contain videos and documentaries of Islamic Militant’s activities were recovered’, the Prosecutor said.
DSP Dery also stated that in the Accused persons’ Caution Statements to the Police, the first and the second Accused persons intimated that they went together with the third Accused to the community of Dzantong-Daboise to locate a quiet, secure and safe environment to practise the firing of weapons (guns), adding that investigations were ongoing.