Ghana: Kidnapping of 2 Canadian Women - Police Asked to Speed Up Investigation

An Accra high court has asked the police to expedite investigation in the case, in which nine persons have been charged for the alleged kidnapping of two Canadian women in the Ashanti Region.

Justice George Boadi, the presiding judge, also ordered the police to allow families of the accused to visit them at the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), where they are detained.

The court, however, did not hear the application for bail for Seidu Abubakar, one of the accused, because his counsel Mr Andrew Kudzo Vortik, did not serve notice of the application on the Attorney-General (AG).

Sampson Aghalor, the alleged kingpin, also known as Romeo, Yusif Abubakar, and Seidu Abubakar, have been charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping and kidnapping of Bailey Jordan Chitty and Lauren Patricia Catherine Tilley, who were in Ghana for an exchange programme.

The others were Elvis Ojiyorwe, Jeff Omarsar, all Nigerians, Yusif Yakubu, Abdul Nasir, Moro Issaka, and Yussif Mohammed-Ghanaians.

Aghalor, Ojiyorwe, Omarsar and Yakubu, were separately charged with kidnapping.

On July 1, 2019, three out of the nine accused, Seidu, Aghalor and Yussif accused the BNI of subjecting accused to physical and mental torture.

Mrs Hilda Craig, senior state attorney, prosecuting, contended that the claims of torture and abuse by the accused were fabricated to make the BNI look bad.

She said Tilly, 19, and Chitty, 20, were kidnapped on June 4, 2019, moments after they alighted from an Uber cab, at their apartment at Silver Spring in Kumasi, at about 8:20pm.

Mrs Craig told the court that Aghalor struck an acquaintance with Yakubu in March, 2019, and that Aghalor went to Nigeria and recruited Ojiyorwe and Omarsar to be part of the gang.

The court heard that the kidnappers smeared the faces of the victims, Chitty and Tilley with blood, ostensibly to create the impression that the women were badly tortured.

The gang took the two women to an uncompleted building at Kenyasi Krobo.

On June 11, a National Security team, led by Colonel Michael Opoku, arrested Yusif, who later led them to arrest the gang.

Upon their arrest, the accused mentioned Nasir and Abubakari as part of the gang.

The two Canadian women were rescued after eight days of intensive search by the Ashanti Regional Police Command in collaboration with other security operatives at Akorem in Sawaba, in Kumasi.

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