An Aflao Circuit Court has sentenced three armed robbers to a total of 176 years imprisonment in hard labour.
The verdicts on three separate incidents is considered a breakthrough against crime in the area.
The convicts, Julius Gbede, alias “Bible”, 25, got a total of 82 years, Kofi Kunya, alias “Sponsor”, 27, 79 years and Malik Mohammed Urmaru Suna, 24, 15 years
According to Police sources Gbede, who is considered leader of the group in all the three incidents’ arrest brought sigh of relieve among the people in the area with the Police patting their backs, pleaded not guilty to three counts of conspiracy, stealing, preparation to commit crime, illegal possession of firearms, causing harm, unlawful damage, unlawful entry and two counts of robbery.
The court, Presided over by, Mr Ali Baba Abature, sentenced him to a jailed term of five years on each of the conspiracy charges, five years each for stealing firearms, preparing to commit crime, possession of firearms without authority, unlawful entry, the rest are three years for unlawful damage, four years for causing harm and 20 years each for two counts of robbery all totalling 82 years are to run consecutively.
The other accomplice Kunya, who also pleaded not guilty to all charges, but the court thought otherwise and jailed him five years each on three conspiracy charges, five years each for stealing firearm, preparation to commit crime, possession of firearms without authority and unlawful entry, four years for causing harm and 20 years each on the robbery charges.
The sentences totalling 79 years were also to run consecutively.
The Police said another suspect Malik Mohammed Urmaru Suna who was, involved in only two of the incidents, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy, a count each for stealing of firearm, preparation to commit crime, possession of firearm without authority, unlawful entry and robbery.
The court said for showing remorse and helping the court and also revealing the sequences of the criminal activities of the group, including others still at large, the court showed him mercy.
The court therefore reduce his earlier sentence of 15 years for leading Gbede, Kunya and one George Edzordzi Dabla, alias Black Jesus, now at large to rob his elder brother of valuables at his residence at Aflao, to 10 years.
Suna, who was also sentenced to five years each for conspiracy, stealing, possession of firearm without authority in the other cases, would in effect serve only 15 years in prison as his sentences are to run concurrently.
A fourth accused, Sodzi Edem, alias Stone, a Togolese Steel Bender, was however acquitted and discharged for want of prosecution.
The presiding judge said the three being accused in numerous robbery cases of which some of the cases against them were still pending from different Police stations in different districts and holding residents spellbound for years, Gbede and Kunya represented a serious threat to society.
He said the two therefore deserve punitive punishment to deter others.
The court also ordered that Suna be sent to serve his jail term in Sunyani, in the Brong Ahafo Region, away from Gbede, Kunya and their cohorts who have since threatened to unleash hell on him for confessing and revealing details about the group.