Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

50-year Jail term for 'Kumasi Ataa Ayi'

Eric Alfred Zieme, described by the police as Kumasi’s most notorious armed robber, was yesterday sentenced to 50 years’ imprisonment with hard labour by the High Court in Kumasi.

“You are the devil incarnate,” Justice Kwame Ansu-Gyeabour, the presiding judge, told Zieme before handing him the sentence.

Zieme, 26, also known as Kumasi Ataa Ayi, was found guilty of raiding the B5 Plus Company at Buoho, a Kumasi suburb, at gunpoint on October 11, 2007 and robbing Gocrest Limited of GH¢40,504 which it had collected from the B5 Plus to be deposited at the bank.

The convict, who has nine other armed robbery and murder cases yet to be tried, had no lawyer and so he represented himself in court throughout the trial.

He was always in clutches when he appeared in court because of gunshot wounds he sustained when the police fired at his legs when he attempted to escape arrest.

The court held that the convict stood out as a person who was prepared to reap where he had not sown and build his life through foul means.

The judge said the court took into consideration the prevalence of armed robbery in the country, the evidence adduced against the convict by the prosecution, the character and antecedents of the convict, among other things, before imposing the sentence.

He said although the convict told the court that he was in Wa to attend an uncle’s funeral on the day the incident happened, he was, however, unable to prove his claim when offered the opportunity to do so.

Besides, Justice Ansu-Gyeabour said the convict’s mother, Bridget Zumbele, who was in court and had promised to furnish the court with witnesses for the convict, failed to do so and even declined to testify herself as the sister of the convict’s uncle whose funeral he claimed to have attended at Wa.

He stated that the convict admitted the offence in his caution statement to the police but denied on oath that he had given that statement to the police and also failed to prove an alibi.

He said it was abundantly clear that the evidence on oath had been a deliberate ploy and an after- thought.

The judge said the convict was unable to prove how he earned the money used to acquire his property, including the restaurant building project he had embarked on at the race course area in Kumasi.

Justice Ansu-Gyeabour also held that three witnesses, namely, Benedict Kofi Adombre, a driver whom the convict shot in the thigh, Alice Akpo and Victoria Asare, both cashiers of Gocrest Limited, from whom the convict stole the money, all came out to identify the convict during an identification parade.

The court ordered that the two cars seized from the convict on his arrest — an unregistered Toyota Corolla saloon car and an old Tico taxi — be handed over to the Ghana Police Service to assist the service in its patrol duties.

It further ordered that the remaining items seized from the convict, including a Honda motorbike, five travelling bags containing clothing, a Samsung DVD player, a Sony TV set, home theatre with speakers, two deep freezers, two satellite dishes, 35 bags of cement, 17 pieces of plywood, five packets of floor tiles and two ceiling fans, be auctioned and the proceeds paid to offset the amount stolen from B5 Plus, with the remaining paid to government chest.

The court also ordered that the restaurant project started by the convict, should be handed over to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) for it to remodel and construct for public use.

The prosecution was led by Mr Emmanuel Otoo-Boison, a State Attorney.

Zieme has a month to appeal against the sentence.

The facts of the case were that on October 11, 2007, Benedict Kofi Adombre, a driver, Alice Akpo and Victoria Asare, both cashiers of Gocrest Limited at Adum, went round to collect money from the company’s customers.

After the three had collected money from the B5 Plus Company around 1.30 p.m., the convict, with an AK 47 assault rifle, attacked them in front of the company’s premises and shot the right thigh of the driver and robbed them of cash totalling GH¢40,504.

A report was made to the police and a medical form was issued to the driver to attend hospital.

On November 2, 2007, the police, upon a tip-off, arrested the convict from his hideout at the race course and the witnesses involved identified him as the one who had committed the offence.

The police later retrieved three guns, comprising two AK 47 assault rifles and a pump action gun, which he had hidden at various areas in the bush on the Barekese road, the Buoho area and at Brofoyedru.

The police also seized various items from him and charged him with the offence.

Ministry concludes tilapia pond feeding trials

The Ministry of Fisheries has successfully concluded a 10month pond feeding trials with all male tilapia at the Aquaculture Adaptive Trials Centre at Nkawie in the Ashanti region, and has subsequently identified pelletized feed as most suitable for commercial aquaculture production.
The objective of the trial was to demonstrate tilapia growth and economic performance from fingerling to market stages.
The all male tilapia exhibited excellent growth from five grammes to an average of 500 grammes over the 10month period when they were fed on Raanan pelletized fish feed imported from Israel by Dizengoff Ghana Limited.
The feed maintained good water quality, and no pond water flushing was required. Additionally the fish growth with the feed yielded a high economic return in the trial.
A total of 4400 fingerlings were stocked in the pond which was equipped with stand-by aeration at the latter stages of the trials.
At a field demonstration on the production of the all male tilapia using the pelletized feed at Nkawie last week, Mr Emmanuel Nii Aryee, Ashanti Regional Director of the Ministry of Fisheries said the move was a major success in the Ministry’s quest in promoting aquaculture.
This is because, hitherto, most fish farmers were not feeding their stock very well with the right feed thus the produce did not gain the weight they were supposed to before harvest.
Additionally, many of them mixed the males and females together which was also not good for commercial fish production, he said.
The male tilapia is noted for growing faster than the female and that it could attain the weight of about 750 grammes within seven months, for harvesting when fed well. Hence it is profitable to use male fingerlings instead of female fingerlings in fish farming.
The Ministry of Fisheries thus entered into an agreement with Luye Fisheries in China for assistance in the production of male tilapia fingerlings for distribution to fish farmers in Ghana.
The move was to help make high yielding fingerlings always available to fish farmers so as to serve as a boost to aquaculture in the country.
Consequently, the Ministry allocated the Aquaculture Adaptive Trials Centre at Nkawie in the Atwima District of Ashanti to be used as a pilot station for the development of what they termed, the Super Male Tilapia in the country.
Speaking at the field demonstration, the Regional Director of Fisheries said the Ministry sees pond fishing as being very good economically and thus has been promoting aquaculture on a more serious note in the last three years.
He said after the Ministry adopted the all male production method, there was also the need to identify a suitable feed so as to be able to achieve the needed results.
Mr Aryee said the Ministry decided to go for the Raanan feed because that one could float on the surface of the water making it easy to monitor how the stock was consuming the feed.
He said he was aware that GAFCO as well as Agricare have also started producing pelletized feeds and that GAFCO for instance was still in the process of trying to come out with brands that could float on the surface of water.
He said the brands of the other pelletized feeds that does not stay at the surface but sinks to the under of the water was equally good but said the floating ones were more preferable since it allows the farmer to monitor the feeding rate of the stock.
He said his outfit has assigned the Tano Odumase fish pond to produce high yielding all male fingerlings for supply to fish farmers in the Ashanti region so as to serve as a boost to aquaculture.
He said Ashanti was the leading region in pond fish farming.
Adding, he said as part of efforts to boost aquaculture, the ministry has introduced an input credit scheme where fingerlings are supplied to selected farmers as well as assisted in the construction of ponds.
Touching on the results of the trials, Mr Aryee said the exercise had thought the Ministry a lot of lessons which it could impart to fish farmers.
For instance, he said the ministry stocked a total of 4400 fingerlings in the pond which was too small for the stock and also did not mount the stand-by aeration on time.
Again he said the fingerlings were stocked in November and so when the harmattan started in January, the fishes did not eat much during that period so that also affected their growth.
Mr Aryee said lessons learnt from the trials would go a long way to assist fish farmer adding that the average weight could go beyond 500grammes if conditions are favourable.