An Accra Circuit Court yesterday adjourned the trial of eight persons suspected to have robbed and killed Ekow Quansah Hayford, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Mfantseman Constituency in the Central Region.
The adjournment was occasioned by the absence of the presiding judge, Evelyn Asamoah, who is on leave.
The case was subsequently adjourned to November 30, 2020, for continuation.
The gruesome murder of the late MP occurred on the Abeadze-Dominase-Duadzi-Mankessim road on the night of Friday, October 9, 2020, in the constituency while the MP was returning from a campaign programme after filing his nomination to seek re-election hours earlier.
Those on remand in police custody include Alhassan Abubakar aka Abu Fulani, phone repairer; Naziru Fadilu aka SP, businessman; Alhassan Mahama Yahaya aka Mystical Cloud, unemployed; Amadu Yakubu, mobile money agent; Haruna Osman, trader; Adam Alhassan, scrap dealer; Fuseini Osman and Fred Tetteh as well as another suspect only identified as Mohammed who is currently at large.
They are facing two counts of conspiracy and robbery to which they all pleaded not guilty and the court remanded them after refusing an application for bail made by their respective lawyers.
The brief facts of the case as presented by Chief Inspector Frimpong are that, on October 9, 2020, at about 1am, police had information that armed robbers had barricaded a section of the road between Abeaze-Dominase and Duadze on the Mankesim-Assin Fosu highway, robbing commuters of their mobile phones, monies and other valuables.
He said on receipt of the information, police quickly mobilised and proceeded to the scene and narrowly missed the robbers.
He told the court that at the scene, the police saw a number of vehicles parked on the road with some of the victims who had sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds, with one dead.
“The body was later identified as the Member of Parliament for Mfantseman Constituency, Ekow Quansah Hayford. Two of the victims were seriously injured. One Patrick Asante, a Kia truck driver and Uncle Issah, the late MP’s driver,” the court heard.
The prosecutor continued that police cleared the road to traffic and conveyed the victims to Winneba and Cape Coast hospitals for medical attention while the body of the slain MP was also deposited at the Saltpond Mortuary pending autopsy.
He said investigations revealed that, the late MP filed his nominations form on the October 8, 2020 for re-election and decided to visit four communities in the Taabosom electoral area namely; Effutakwa, Opim, Takoradi and Duadze.
After having visited the communities with his campaign team members namely Yaw Berchie, Nuako, Frederick aka Wofa Yaw, Stephen Atteh Allan, Frank Asiedu aka Okokroko, Emmanuel W. Bandoo and the driver, Uncle Issah, they were on their way to Mankessim.
At about 1:00am, the team bumped into a gang of armed robbers who blocked the road between Abeaze-Dominase and Duadze, robbing motorist of their monies and valuables.
The MP arrived with his campaign team on board a Mitsubishi pickup branded in NPP colours.
Chief Inspector Frimpong continued that the robbers immediately fired gunshots into the vehicle, bursting the tyres as the vehicle suddenly stopped after running into a ditch.
He said, “The robbers surrounded them and demanded for all their valuables. The robbers pointed a gun at Stephen Allan and asked whether he was the MP, he said no. The MP himself owned up so they pounced on him and collected his Samsung galaxy 850 mobile phone and demanded money. The late MP told the robbers that he had used up all his money as he was returning from campaign tour. He, therefore, pleaded with them to take him to his house to give them money but they refused and shot him, killing him instantly.”
Chief Inspector Frimpong said police tracked the mobile phone of the deceased to Kumasi and arrested Naziru Fadilu at Aboabo in Kumasi, who was in possession of the deceased’s mobile phone.
He said Naziru mentioned Alhassan Abubakar as the person who sold the phone to him at GH¢780.
He stated that Naziru led the police to Akwatia Line where Abubakar was also arrested.
Chief Inspector Frimpong said Abubakar also mentioned Mohammed who is on the run as the one who sold the phone to him at GH¢680.
He said the other three were all arrested in connection with the robbery and murder of the late MP.
Chief Inspector Frimpong added that efforts were under way to arrest Mohammed and the remaining suspects who are on the run.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak