Heavy security at court as Kombian was sentenced

Johnson KombianHeavy armed security personnel trooped to the premises of Accra Fast Track High Court on Wednesday, as it sentenced Johnson Kombian accused of killing two police officers in the Northern Region, to death by hanging.

Pronouncing the sentence, the trial judge, Mr Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh remarked: “The jury has found you guilty on all the three charges.

“You are hereby sentenced to death by hanging on the two counts of murder and 30 years on the charge of conspiracy to commit crime to wit murder.

“Sentences are to run concurrently. I know it will not happen, if its carried out, May the Lord have mercy on your soul.”

A seven- member jury unanimously returned a verdict of guilty on all the three charges.

Kombian had earlier denied the two counts of murder and conspiracy to commit crime to wit murder while in lawful custody.

The deceased are Constable Prince Agyare and Constable Owusu Frimpong. A third policeman, Corporal Osei Bonsu, survived after sustaining gunshot wounds.

His counsel, Mr George Assamney, said he was disappointed at the verdict arrived by the jury.

Mr Assamaney said since the door of justice was opened, they would advise themselves.

Defence Counsel earlier wanted to plead for mitigation but the trial judge remarked: “You are Christian, you say the Lord’s Prayer, you remember the line which states that …. And lead us not to temptation.

“Mr Assamney the law is clear; you want to lead me to temptation. When the case is hauled before the court of Appeal I will not be there to answer,” the trial judge said after he summed up the case for the jury to decide.

The trial judge, urged the jury to take a look at the evidence adduced by prosecution, defence counsel, and the defence of the accused before passing out judgement on Kombian.

The court stated that the jury should consider the following: that two victims were dead, that their deaths were caused by unlawful injury that the death was caused by the accused person and his accomplices.

The court noted that in the defence of the accused person he denied being in Nakpanduri on October 17, 2010 but told the court that he was in three different places on the day of the incident.

According to the court, when given the opportunity, Kombian called a witness by name Moses Lariba but ignored his wife whom he claimed he evacuated and her children to Togo after the Police had raided his village and his mother who had been rendered homeless.

Prosecution led by Mrs Marina Appiah Opare during the over a year trial produced six witnesses to make their case. Defence counsel also called witnesses.

Mr Assamaney in his address argued that the state could not prove that Kombian perpetrated the crime.

Defence counsel contended that, the case of prosecution was full of inconsistencies, untruth, that no court could reasonably and safely convict his client.

In the case of prosecution, Mrs Appiah Opare argued that it was Kombian and his accomplice who killed the two police officers and injured another one.

The Principal State Attorney noted that evidence adduced by the prosecution was solid and could warrant a court conviction, adding that, the evidence by the witnesses was credible and reliable.

“There are no inconsistencies in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses, Corporal Osei Bonsu the surviving Police officer saw Kombian and his accomplice shot at him and his colleagues on that fateful day,” she added.

Kombian, alias Garkum, and his accomplices who are currently on the run, are alleged to have ambushed three policemen on October 17, 2010 and succeeded in killing two of them.

The deceased are Constable Prince Agyare and Constable Owusu Frimpong.

A third policeman, Corporal Osei Bonsu, survived after sustaining gunshot wounds.

Kombian allegedly conspired with his friend, Kofi Naaman, known as Accra Boy, to rob Djato Mathias and then attempted to kill him.

He was therefore arrested, tried and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment by the Tamale Circuit Court but he escaped while serving his jail term.

Kombian sought refuge at Nakpanduri in the Bunkpurugu Yunyoo District of the Northern Region, which happened to be his hometown.

On October 17, 2010, the accused person and his accomplices received information that a number of policemen had been detailed to perform duties at the Nakpanduri Scarp.

Kombian and his accomplices however ambushed and attacked the three policemen. They allegedly fired gunshots at the deceased policemen who were then on a motorbike. The policemen fell into a 10-metre long valley.

The accused person and his group continued to fire sporadically into the valley, with the hope of killing the policemen, who also retaliated with occasional gun fire.

After some minutes of firing, Kombian and his gang stopped, and on realising that the gunshots had ended, Agyare and his colleagues mistakenly thought their attackers had left. They, therefore, came out of their hideout and were subjected to more gun fire.

Help finally came for Agyare and his colleagues while Kombian and his accomplices bolted. The wounded policemen were conveyed to the Nalerigu Hospital but Agyare was later pronounced dead.

Frimpong also died later, while Bonsu was transferred to the Police Hospital in Accra where he was treated and discharged.

Kombian escaped to Togo after the incident but he was later picked up by the Togolese authorities and handed over to the Ghanaian authorities. GNA

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