Sixty-year-old businessman Emmanuel Kwabena Henaku, who recruited a 29-year-old driver to help him to steal a car to enhance his goat-stealing business, yesterday wept uncontrollably when he was convicted together with his accomplice for the offence.

Henaku, father of 10, started weeping even before the judge, Francis Obiri, said he found him guilty of the offence and said, ?min mbayioo! Min mbanyioo?! meaning ?my children,  my children. Who would take care of them??

 When asked if he had anything to say before they would be convicted, Joseph Acquah, Henaku?s accomplice, maintained his innocence but said once he had been found guilty, he had no choice than to plead with the court to temper justice with mercy and shed some tears afterwards.

Giving his ruling, the trial judge said robbery had become a national issue with the rate on the rise each day and noted that people should feel free to go about their lawful activity without fear of being attacked.

He consequently sentenced Henaku to 10 years for conspiracy to commit crime and three years for dishonestly receiving, while Acquah, 29 years, would serve 10 years for conspiracy and 50 years for robbery.

All sentences are to run concurrently.

Acquah snatched a taxi from its driver with the help of two others who strangled the cabbie till he surrendered his car to them.

They were arrested after the vehicle owners- Midland Services- used a tracking device which showed that the vehicle was at Cape Coast. The driver later identified Acquah as the one who took the car away from him.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Seth Awere-Opanyninyena, the chief state attorney who narrated events leading to the arrest of the accused persons, stated that the complainant, Douglas Torgbor Ababio, was a driver who was in charge of a Toyota Corolla taxi cab with registration number GC6169-11 and was on his usual rounds on October 20, 2011 when the incident happened.

He said on that day, at about 9:30 pm, the accused persons and two other accomplices, now at large, hired the complainant near First Light at Kaneshie to take them to Tesano.

On reaching the Global International Church Headquarters, one of the accused persons asked the driver to stop for him to alight and as soon as he stopped, the others grabbed the driver and strangled him on the neck.

They attacked the driver and overpowered him and he surrendered his car key to them and reported the matter to the owner of the taxi, Kwabena Appau-Osei, the managing director of Midland Logistics.

Following a tip-off, the police and the owner of the taxi went to Cape Coast on October 23, 2011 to track the accused persons, adding that they were arrested at Kotokuraba in Cape Coast while boarding the taxi.

The prosecutor said the accused persons were taken to Tesano for investigations and the taxi driver identified the 29-year-old as one of the men who attacked him. Acquah admitted that he was with two others that Henaku recruited to snatch any car that came their way to help enhance his goat-stealing business.

He said Acquah told the police that after they snatched the taxi, Henaku asked them to take the vehicle to Cape Coast where he would later meet them but explained that the two others alighted at Kasoa when they were on their way.

They were arraigned after police investigations. 

 By Fidelia Achama

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