Saturday, August 29, 2009 (Page 20)
THE trial of a former female magistrate, Anna Jane Ghartey, who allegedly defrauded a professor to the tune of GH¢18,000, resumed yesterday at the Circuit Court in Accra after almost four weeks break following a request for the docket by the Attorney-General’s Department.
At the court’s sitting in Accra yesterday, the case was, however, adjourned to September 3, 2009 after the prosecutor, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Ms Mary Agbozo, informed the court that she had received a medical report indicating that Anna was indisposed.
She gave a copy of the report to the trial judge, Mr Mahamadu Iddrisu, who accordingly adjourned the case to September 3, 2009.
The trial was, on July 30, 2009, adjourned for a month after the Attorney-General’s Department had demanded for the docket on the case.
However, the A-G’s Department took less than a month to refer the matter back to the court for continuation.
On July 31, 2009, counsel for the former magistrate was expected to cross-examine the complainant, Professor Joseph Emmanuel Adjaye, who had told the Accra Circuit Court on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 that the magistrate had given him fake documents covering two plots of land he had purchased at GH¢20,000.
However, on the said July 31, 2009, when the matter was called, the trial judge announced that the A-G’s office had requested for the docket to study the case.
He said the A-G’s office needed one month to study the case and accordingly adjourned the matter to Thursday, September 3, 2009.
Anna was alleged to have conspired with Samuel Aidoo, a building contractor, and Joana Nyarko, a fishmonger, to deceive Prof. Adjaye into believing that she (Anna) had parcels of land for sale at Adjiringanor, a suburb of Accra, and succeeded in collecting GH¢18,000 from him and prepared fake indentures covering two plots of land belonging to a deceased person.
Anna, who has since been discharged from the bench, has been granted bail in the sum of GH¢30,000 with two sureties by the court.
The accused person is also standing trial in the same court for allegedly defrauding a Swiss national, Ms Darcie Slavin, of GH¢47,000 under the guise of providing her with plots of land. She has been granted bail in the sum of GH¢40,000 with two sureties.
In his evidence-in-chief, Prof. Adjaye, who is a lecturer of African Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States of America (USA), said one of the indentures covering the plots sold to him indicated that the land belonged to Kpeshie chiefs, contrary to earlier claims by Anna that the land belonged to one Auntie Rose.
He also told the court that one of the indentures covering the land he paid for in 2007, also contained the name of a person who died in June 2005 at 98.
Prof. Adjaye told the court that he met Anna in December 2006 through his brother, Dr Robert Adjaye, when he (Prof. Adjaye) needed parcels of land to purchase for development.
He said Anna, who was then with the Ghana Prisons Service, showed him parcels of land at Adjiringano and East Legon and later delegated Samuel to show him (Prof. Adjaye) more plots of land.
According to him, he made payments in three instalments to the tune of GH¢20,000 and an additional payment of GH¢5,000, which Anna said the Kpeshie chiefs would use to prepare consent letters, indentures and other documents covering the land.
He explained that Anna issued receipts for all payments he made to her.
He said he never received those consent letters and further told the court that a search he conducted at the Lands Commission proved that the lands Anna had sold to him belonged to other people.
Prof. Adjaye told the court that upon realising that he had been duped, he decided to report Anna to the Property Fraud Unit of the Ghana Police Service to retrieve his money.
According to him, he was amazed to find that Samuel had used documents bearing his (Prof. Adjaye’s) name to sell the same plot of land sold to him to another developer.
The complainant also told the court that Anna refunded GH¢4,000 as part payment of the moneys she had received from him after he had lodged a complaint with the police.
According to the facts of the case, in December 2006 Anna and Samuel collected GH¢11,000 from Prof. Adjaye and a further GH¢7,000 in August 2007.
According to the prosecution, the accused persons managed to hand over two parcels of land to Prof. Adjaye and prepared documents covering the land and handed them over to the complainant.
However, Prof. Adjaye was prevented from developing the land by some persons who also claimed ownership of it.