A self-acclaimed footballer has been sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment in hard labour for robbing congregants of a church during an all-night service.
Misbau Afolabi, an ex-convict, was dragged before the court in April 2016 for conspiring with two others – who are still at large – to rob members of the Tabernacle of Hope International Church at Lashibi in Accra.
He and the other accomplices were said to have ordered the church members at gunpoint to lie on the floor and surrender all their belongings.
They succeeded in robing the congregation of various items, including mobile phones, iPads, handbags, car keys and an unspecified amount of money.
One of the prosecution witnesses, who hitherto knew the convict, was able to identify him to the police, leading to his arrest.
Misbau Afolabi pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy to commit crime and robbery and the prosecution, led by DSP Kwaku Bempahwere, was faced with the responsibility of proving otherwise.
The court, presided over by Aboagye Tandoh, discharged the convict of the charge of conspiracy since he could not have conspired with himself.
The convict, hearing the word ‘discharged’ seemed not interested in anything else the judge had to say, thinking he had been set free. He quickly stepped out of the docket but was immediately brought back by a security officer.
Mr Aboagye Tandoh, in his judgement, noted that although the convict tried to convince the court that the prosecution witnesses mistakenly identified him as one of the persons who robbed the church, there was no doubt that the witnesses actually saw him as being part of the robbery gang.
Justice Tandoh said, “Clearly, the charges were not framed up and the horrible situation the worshipers had to endure during which all the tabernacle of their hope had disappeared.”
He found the Misbau Afolabi guilty of the offence and convicted him accordingly, saying, “The accused persons, indeed, were courageous in their action to rob a church.”
Source: Daily Guide
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