Businessman accused of stealing and threatening with death granted GH₵2.5m bail

A businessman who allegedly stole 16 different brands of cars all totalling $115,850, equivalent to GH₵1,621,900 the property of Auto Plaza has been granted bail in the sum of GH₵2.5m with two sureties by an Accra Circuit Court.

The accused person is also said to have unlawfully entered the compound and the warehouse of Fafia Auto Plaza Limited and threatened one Jihad Hijazi with a pistol by firing two rounds of ammunition.

After unlawfully entering the compound and the warehouse, the accused also made away with some workshop items and furniture like diagnosing machines, empty tool box, Totem (Renault), pressing machine, wheel balancer, 3-tonne car jack (2), 6-tonne car jack, 1-tonne car jack, a set of broken down vehicle lift and 2 Renault picture frames, all totalling USD41,033.19, equivalent to GH₵574,464.66.

He also made away with a sofa set, 4 side tables, centre table, 3 flower vases with flowers, 5 office shelves, 12 steel cabinets, 5 wooden cabinets, 6 office desks, 11 swivel chairs, executive table/chair, 2 TV stands, 10 window blinds, 12 metal shelves, 12 desk trays, medium size carpets, 3 small size carpet, 10 spec boards and 4 old AC outdoor units, all totalling GH₵44,745.00.

Abdullatif Ghamrawi Azzam, who was charged with unlawful entry, threat of death and three counts of stealing, pleaded not guilty.

Initially, counsel for the accused person prayed for bail.

The prosecution did not oppose the bail application, however it prayed the court to consider the fact that there was nothing on record indicating that the accused person was not a Ghanaian national, the amount of money involved, the gravity of the offence, among others.

It also prayed the court to consider the above factors when granting bail with conditions commensurate with the amount of money involved in the case.

The court presided over by Mr Jojo Amoah Hagan, therefore admitted the accused person to bail in the sum of GH₵2.5 million with two sureties.

It ordered that the sureties be justified with landed property with a title deed stamped and registered.

The court also ordered that the sureties should deposit their passport pictures at the registry.

The accused person was ordered to submit his original passport to the registrar.

The matter has been adjourned to May 27, 2023.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Haligah, holding brief of Police Chief Inspector Agatha Asantewaa, told the court that the complainant, Madam Mavis Opoku Kani, is the credit control manager of Auto plaza, a company incorporated under the laws of Ghana.

The prosecution said the complainant resided at Cantonments, while the accused person was a resident of North Kaneshie, both suburbs of Accra.

He said the accused person used to be an errand boy of the late Mohammed Hijazi, Chairman of Auto Plaza, and also Managing Director of Fafia Auto Limited, located at Agbogbloshie in Accra.

The prosecution said in 2015, the company sent 59 different vehicles to the precincts of Fafia Auto Limited for Safe keeping and around the same period, the late Mohammed Hijazi fell sick, and died on June 17, 2022.

It said weeks after his demise, the accused person forcibly broke into the yard of Fafia Auto Limited and with the aid of some heavily built men, drove all workers of the late chairman and took possession of the place.

The prosecution said the accused person later lifted some of the cars parked in the yard to an unknown destination and also broke into the shops and made away with some workshop items and furniture as indicated in the charge sheet.

It said management of Auto Plaza had wind of the accused person’s unlawful takeover of the property.

The prosecution said the current Chief Executive Officer of Auto Plaza, Mr. Jihad Hijazi, and other workers of the company proceeded to the place to ascertain the truth but the accused person accosted them.

It said in the ensuing melee, the accused person fired twice at them with a pistol he was wielding but fortunately for the complainants and the witnesses, nothing untoward happened to them.

The prosecution said the complainant with the aid of some witnesses picked the two expended ammunition shell at the scene and handed over same to the police.

The prosecution said the complainant petitioned the Director General CID and the accused was arrested.

The prosecution said the accused person later led the police to his office within the Fafia Auto Limited building and a 380 ACP CAL TALON Pistol was retrieved after a search.

It said the two empty shells and the pistol have been forwarded to the Police Forensic Laboratory for Ballistic Examination and result.

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