The four men who kidnapped two Canadian girls in an uncompleted building in Kumasi and demanded a ransom of $800,000 from the families of the victims in 2019 have been sentenced to 10 years each in prison in hard labour.
Reading the judgment which lasted for close to three hours on Tuesday (December 20, 2022), the Court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, said the horrific crime which threw the county into a state of despair, must not be allowed to mar Ghana’s relations with its international partners.
The court apologised to the families of the Canadian girls on behalf of Ghana for the traumatic experience they went through.
Lawyers for the convicts took turns apologising to the families of the two Canadian girls.
The four convicts — Sampson Agharlor, alias Romeo; Elvis Ojiyorwe, Jeff Omarsar and Yusif Yakubu — were convicted on two counts each on conspiracy to kidnap and kidnapping.
Agharlor, Ojiyorwe, Omarsar are Nigerian nationals while Yakubu is a Ghanaian.
On the charge of conspiracy, the four were sentenced to nine years each.
For the charge of kidnapping, they were sentenced to 10 years each in prison in hard labour.
However, the sentence is to run concurrently.
As a result, the convicts will serve 10 years each in prison.
The facts of the case as presented by prosecution were that Agharlor, who had been in Ghana for some time, became friends with Yakubu in March 2019.
In the course of their friendship, Agharlor brought up the idea of kidnapping as a lucrative venture, an idea that was accepted by Yakubu.
Yakubu agreed to assist Agharlor in the kidnapping activity and even helped him to procure a pistol.
To bring their idea into fruition, the prosecutor said, Agharlor went to Nigeria in May 2019 and recruited Ojiyorwe and Omarsar to be part of the gang.
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According to the prosecution, the three Nigerians, upon their arrival in Ghana, resided at Ashaiman in Greater Accra for some time before they moved to Kumasi in the Ashanti Region to meet up with Yakubu.
When they got to Kumasi, Agharlor, who was the leader of the gang, gave some money to Yakubu to hire a car, an apartment and also buy pistols and other items to enable them to carry out their kidnapping activities.
Kidnapping of Canadians
On June 4, 2019, the gang, in a car, accosted the two Canadian ladies, who had hired the services of an Uber ride at their hostel at Nhyiaeso, a suburb of Kumasi, assaulted them and forced them into their own vehicle amid shooting.
They took their victims to their uncompleted building hideout at Kenyasi Krobo, another suburb of Kumasi and demanded a ransom of $800,000 from the families of the two ladies during their captivity.
The ladies were, however, rescued on June 11, 2019, by an operation led by the National Security.