A Cape Coast High Court, presided over by Justice Kwasi Boakye, singled out a bank cleaner in a robbery of ¢600,000 and gave him a hefty sentence of 25 years.
Michael Fosu, alias ‘Bursar’, who was a cleaner working at the Ghana Commercial Bank branch at Asikuma in the Central Region, was among four persons who conspired to rob a bank customer of ¢600,000.
In sentencing the four persons, Justice Kwasi Boakye indicated that though Michael’s share of the booty was the least – ¢10,000 – he decided to single him out and deal with him severely.
The judge remarked, “I take good note of the role he played in the commissioning of the robbery. For purposes of emphasis, the undisputed evidence is that Michael called one of the robbers on the phone to alert him that the customer had withdrawn the money and was leaving the bank premises.”
Based on the call placed by the bank staff to his counterparts, they succeeded in the operation.
The judge described Michael’s behaviour as a danger and a threat to society.
Justice Kwasi Boakye sent a strong warning to staff of banks with such intentions to abandon them now as the courts would deal with them ruthlessly.
He further charged the security apparatus in crime-fighting in the country to direct their attention to suspicious characters within the banking sector in the wake of the recent surge in the number of robbery attacks on the banking sector.
Before sentencing them, Justice Kwasi Boakye allowed the robbers to say something.
The first robber pleaded: “If I am found guilty, I wish to plead for leniency. I am a family man with three children. I am responsible for them. I have a wife. I promise the Court that it will not occur again.”
The second robber followed: “I have accepted my guilt in this trial. I am grateful for the Court’s patience for me in this trial. I am a family man with children and a wife. I plead that I am forgiven.”
The third stated: “Please, I have sinned. I would not do that again. I promise that it will not reoccur. I have a sick mother back home. I plead accordingly.”
Justice Kwasi Boakye sentenced three of the robbers on conspiracy to commit the crime of robbery contrary to sections 23  and 149  of the Criminal and Other Offences Act, 1960 [Act 29] to 20 years imprisonment in hard labour while the bank staff was sentenced to 25 years in hard labour.
The facts accompanying the charges are that Patrick Gyamerah, the manager of Nyankopa Cocoa Buying Ltd, is the complainant. The accused persons are Ibrahim Abubakar, a scrap dealer; Muniru Seidu, labourer; Sadick Abubakar, farmer and Michael Fosu, cleaner at the Breman Asikuma Commercial Bank.
On October 28, 2020, the complainant went to the Ghana Commercial Bank [GCB] at Breman Asikuma to withdraw ¢600,000 for his employer, Nyankopa Cocoa Buying Ltd.
The money was put in a sack and loaded into his vehicle with the help of Obed Mintah, his Technical Officer and Eric Amissah, his Accountant. They set off with the money in the boot of his car.
The Accountant followed up on a motorcycle. A few metres to their Depot, they were stopped by two of the robbers who were wielding guns. They asked the complainant to turn off the car engine and get down from the car. He obliged.
They asked him to open the car boot and marched him with Eric Amissah and Obed Mintah into the nearby bush, where they tied them with sellotape. The robbers took all the money from the car boot, used Eric Amissah’s motorcycle and fled from the scene.
The complainant and his colleagues managed to free themselves later and got to their workplace, where they informed their officers of the incident.
Finally, they reported the matter to the police. The police immediately embarked on sustained searches for the robbers. On October 30, 2020, the police stopped a taxi during a snap-check within Breman Asikuma. A search in the taxi cab led to the discovery of sacks of money packed under the car seats.
All the three persons on board were arrested. One robber onboard the taxi told police that it was part of the money they robbed from the complainant.
Abubakar Ibrahim had ¢208,120.00 in a sack. He led police to Muniru Seidu’s house at Nsuokor village. A search on Muniru yielded ¢54,800.
Abubakar Ibrahim then led police again to Michael Fosu, the bank cleaner’s house. A search in his room yielded ¢8,000.
Finally, Mr Ibrahim led police to Ring Road Circle, popularly called Circle in Accra, where Muniru Seidu was arrested.
Mr Muniru took the police into the bush around Abebrese village near Assikuma, where he had kept his portion of ¢200,000.
The Police investigations revealed that the accused persons and one Tommy planned to rob the complainant. On October 26, 2020, Michael Fosu, a cleaner at GCB, called Abubakar Seidu and told him that the complainant had come for money at GCB.
Abubakar Seidu, who was standing at a vantage point somewhere at Breman Assikuma town monitoring the complainant’s movements, relayed this information to Tommy and the rest of the accused persons.
Abubakar Ibrahim and Muniru Seidu waited in the bush and attacked the complainant when he got there.
After that, they met Tommy and shared the money. Then, Tommy gave Abubakar Seidu his share. In turn, Seidu gave the bank cleaner ¢10,000.
Abubakar Ibrahim and Muniru Seidu confessed to conspiring to rob the complainant during investigations.
They explained that the complainant contracted them to take the money from him as he was in debt.
Michael Fosu, the bank cleaner, stated that Abubakar Seidu told him about the plan to rob the complainant, but he refused to take part. However, after the robbery, Seidu gave him ¢10,000 for not revealing their plan to anyone.