Four persons who have been charged with unlawful imprisonment of two Canadian nationals have pleaded not guilty to four charges related to kidnapping.
The accused persons including Sampson Agharlor, aka Romeo, the ring leader together Elvis Ojiyorwe, Jeff Omarsar and Yusif Yakubu have all denied the charges of conspiracy to kidnap, two kidnappings and an unlawful improvement.
They have been accused of playing various roles in the kidnapping of Miss Lauren Patricia Catherine Tiley and Miss Bailey Jordan Chilley, who were in Kumasi to participate in a youth programme on June 4, 2019.
The brief facts accompanying the charges were read to the court by Senior State Attorney Hilda Craig after their plea was retaken.
Yaw Danquah while moving the application for bail for Agharlor and Yusif said the facts presented to the court were full of hearsay and not a single shred of an iota of facts.
According to him, everything the state has said made a movie script and that the charges his clients are facing are serious that if convicted they stand to spend a long time in prison custody, so the court must be mindful of what the state has presented.
Counsel argued that, in their facts, the State was never able to pinpoint anything to link how their so-called planning was planned to kidnap the victims for which the accused persons are standing trial.
Hilda Craig while opposing the application for bail said it is the learning that fact does not constitute evidence and it is not a ground for which bail should be granted.
She said they are in court to present their evidence to the court and why the accused persons were arraigned.
“At the right time, we will prove our case to court. Three of the accused persons are foreigners and the likelihood they will not stand trial is huge,” she argued.
She added that the three Nigerian accused persons have no strong family ties and they don’t have any place of abode.
“They are also not gainfully employed in this country and the likelihood of scaping the jurisdiction of the court is high,” she informed the court.
On Yusif who is a Ghanaian, she said the charges against him and the evidence so far presented by way of disclosure if granted bail he will abscond.
Meanwhile, the court directed that the prosecution should ensure that their documents are properly presented when necessary and arrange then according to how the witnesses are going to tender them or rely on.
This was after the prosecution led by Hilda Craig, Senior State Attorney had informed the court that they are expecting their last batch of documents from the police within a week’s time.
According to her, the state has so far made available all documents except those with the police to court including those that prosecution will not rely on pursuant to the orders of disclosures.
The Criminal Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Lydia Marfo subsequently dismissed the bail application.
Lawyer Yaw Danquah, counsel for the accused persons had informed the court that, he had nor received the full complement of the said documents.
He prayed for the court to direct the prosecution to ensure he was served but the court asked that he together with the court clerk, go to the registrar of the court for his copies.
The case has been adjourned to March 12, 2020, for the start of Case Management Conference.