Monday, February 18, 2013
Anas Aremeyaw Anas's cocoa smuggling investigation - 3 acquitted, 11 to open defence
February 18, 2013 (www.graphic.com.gh) The Financial Division of the Accra Fast Track High Court has acquitted and discharged three persons implicated in an alleged cocoa smuggling scandal. The three are Rockson Eric Appeadu and Isaac Kwaku Asare Darko, CEPS officers and Kofi Aboagye, an immigration officer. However, the court, presided over by Mr Justice Bright Mensah, ordered 11 others to open their defence on March 12, 2013. The court upheld a submission of no case from counsel for the three acquitted persons, Mr Frank Yankey. According to Mr Yankey, the documentary by an investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, was doctored and, therefore, cannot be used as evidence to prosecute the three. According to counsel, in the unedited version, his clients were not seen but were seen in the main documentary. The 14 security officers, were allegedly captured in a secret video recording by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, a journalist, aiding a group of people to smuggle cocoa beans from Ghana to La Cote D'Ivoire in 2010. The 11 persons, who were ordered to open their defense were Gabriel Dimado, William Festus Yawson, Steven Sowah, Prosper Edze, Nii Armah Adolf, James Dzamesi, Paul Dzamesi, all CEPS collection assistants, three police constables, Samuel Kwasi Ekpeagba and J.K Boakye. The rest are two immigration officers, Mate-Korle and Kofiabley Frederick According to the facts, Anas of the New Crusading Guide, received information that some security officials at the Western frontier of the Ghana-Cote d'Ivoire border were taking money to assist people smuggle dried cocoa beans from Ghana to Cote d'Ivoire. Based on the said information, the journalist conducted an initial investigation and captured his findings on video.