The Winneba District Magistrate Court, presided over by Isaac Oheneba Kufuor, has granted GH¢5,000 bail with one surety each to two Nigerians charged with kidnapping.
Duru Favour, 26, artist, and Paul Okafor, 29, businessman, kidnapped 39 other Nigerians and trafficked them into the country and kept them at Gomoa Pomadze, near Winneba Junction.
The victims, according to the police, were being used to commit crime, to wit cyber fraud.
The two pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and use of trafficked persons and are expected in court again on July 23.
Narrating the fact of the case, Chief Superintendent Samuel Okanta, officer in charge of the Winneba Police Command, said Charles Ikorohk, a Nigerian, was the complainant who arrived in Accra on January 22 to visit a friend by name Collins but could not reach him on his phone and got stranded as a result.
The police officer said whilst at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Ikorohk met Uzo, also a Nigerian, who introduced him to his elder brother called Arisuezo, who offered to assist him to get a place to sleep until he found his friend (Collins).
He said Arisuezo transported both his younger brother Uzo and Ikorohk to Winneba and kept them in a walled house at Gomoa Pomadze.
Ikorohk, on the third day, could not see Uzo again, hence he tried to leave the house, but he was prevented and was locked up in a different room by Arisuezo, where he met seven other Nigerians, and he was fed once a day.
Chief Supt Okanta said Ikorohk attempted to escape twice, but he was arrested and subjected to inhumane treatment.
All this while, Arisuezo used them to perpetrate cybercrime, with the assistance of Favour and Okafor, who acted as supervisors.
Chief Supt. Okanta said from January 26, Ikorohk could not step out of the house until Sunday, July 12, at 8:00 a.m., when he and others were asked to weed the compound.
Ikorohk scaled the wall and sought refuge in a nearby house after the two accused persons went out with one of the victims to withdrew money from a nearby mobile money vendor.
The occupants of the house later called the Effutu Municipal Joint Police and Military Patrol Team to go to the rescue of the complainant.
The commander said a team of police personnel went to the house where Ikorohk was held captive for six months and forced open three single rooms where 38 others, all Nigerians, were rescued.
Thirty-six laptops were retrieved from the house and during the rescue exercise, Favour and Okafor informed the police that the victims were locked up on the orders of their boss, Arisuezo, who is on the run.
“The police are doing everything possible to arrest Arisuezo,” Chief Supt. Okanta added.