Ghana News

Businessman discharged from gun trafficking trial

Michael Akwasi Sakyi, a businessman who was standing trial alongside two military officers and civilians has been discharged by an Accra Circuit Court after the prosecution withdrew all the charges against him.

He had been arraigned together with seven others – Cpl Arafat Kunde, soldier; Ex Lance Corporal Ato Rahman Iddrisu alias W.O. Rahman; Mahama Makbool, unemployed; Nancy Ashong,  trader; Alex Dotse; James Mawuena aka James Sedofia (at large); Akwesi aka Upgrade, (at large); and Joseph Papa Quansah (at large) on charges of conspiracy to commit a crime and illicit trafficking in firearms.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges when he made his first appearance and was granted bail by the court while the prosecution was ordered by the court to file its disclosures and documents it intended to rely on for the trial.

But the prosecution led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sylvester Asare dropped the charges against Michael Akwasi Sakyi after Chief Inspector Amoah Richard who held brief for the substantive prosecutor told the court that they had amended their charge sheet.

The amended charge sheet did not include the name of Mr. Sakyi who had always insisted on his innocence and Nancy Ashong and they were subsequently discharged by the court presided over by Her Honour Rosemary Baah Tosu, leaving six persons who are still standing trial for the offences.

The initial brief facts presented by DSP Asare said sometime in January 2022, police received information that some group of persons were dealing in firearms and ammunition.

Upon receipt of the information, police mounted surveillance on the accused persons, and on February 18, 2022, Nancy Ashong was arrested at Fadama, a suburb of Accra, and a search conducted in her kitchen revealed sixteen (16) boxes of 7.2 x 39mm Ball (24,000 rounds of AK 47 ammunition).

He said when Nancy Ashong was questioned at her house on where she got the firearms, she mentioned Mahama Makbool as the person who kept the boxes of ammunition in her kitchen.

“Subsequently, Mahama Makbool was arrested at his house close to Nancy’s residence, and a search conducted in his room revealed one Smith & Wesson SD9 VE pistol with Serial No. FBU2848.
DSP Asare continued that during interrogation, Makbool admitted that he sent the sixteen boxes of the AK47 ammunition to Nancy’s kitchen for safekeeping.

He said Makbool further admitted ownership of the Smith & Wesson pistol and mentioned NO. 201709 Cpl Arafat Kunde as the person who supplied him with the ammunition, together with two SMG rifles to be sold to him.

The police later arrested Cpl Arafat Kunde at Kasoa, and during interrogation admitted having supplied twenty (20) boxes of AK47 ammunition to Makbool.

He said Cpl Kunde again mentioned Ex Lance Corporal Ato Rahman Iddrisu alias W.0. Rahman, a retired soldier, as his source of the rifles.
“The investigation further led to the arrest of Michael Akwesi Sakyi and Alex Dotse as accomplices, where further investigation established that Cpl Kunde was a bodyguard to suspect Kwesi Sakyi,” the prosecution stated.
The prosecutor said suspects, Sakyi and W.O Rahman provided accommodation on the Spintex Road which was used for illicit activities.

“Again, the investigation had it that whilst Cpl was in custody, he managed to contact Michael Sekyi, his boss and informed him of extra ammunition kept in his room at Spintex road.

Subsequently, Sakyi and W.O Rahman managed to move six boxes including 9000 rounds of AK 47 assault rifle ammunition from Cpl Kunde’s room to a house at East Airport residential, and kept same in an abandoned vehicle which was later retrieved by the police,” the prosecution added.

DSP Asare said their preliminary investigation had established that in addition to the 22 boxes of AK 47 assault rifle ammunition retrieved from the accused persons, James Mawuena gave two SMG assault rifles to Cpl Kunde to be sold.

Consequently, Cpl Kunde also gave the rifles to Makbool who successfully sold one at the cost of GH¢11,800.00 and returned the other one to Cpl Kunde.

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