Friday, January 31, 2014

Health insurance scheme manager before court

   January 31, 2014 (Back page)

Raybon Evans Anyadi raised payment vouchers totalling GH¢134, 481.81 for 15 service providers resulting in the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) settling the amount but he allegedly paid GH¢27,775.58 and pocketed the rest.
The affected service providers are: St Anthony Herbal Clinic, Deo Valente Chemical Shop, Steven Vuvor Chemical Shop, Hope Health Centre, Avedzi Community First Aid Centre, Menyi Maternity Home, Ryte Aid Pharmacy, Catherine Atta, Miracle Life, Volta Regional Hospital, Municipal Hospital, Aggor D.K. Waya Health Centre, Wudzedeke CHPS Zone and Ahunda Health centre.
The offence, which was committed between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009, was detected by an auditor of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).  
Anyadi has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of forgery of document and 30 counts of stealing and the court, presided over by Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam, admitted him to bail in the sum of GH¢100,000 with two sureties.
Anyadi is expected to reappear on February 13, 2014.

Facts of the case

According to the facts of the case, Anyadi, as manager at Adaklu Anyigbe Mutual Health Insurance Scheme located at Kpetoe in the Volta Region, was fully responsible for the payment of all claims submitted by recognised service providers in the district.
The prosecution said a finance and operational audit conducted by auditors of the NHIA between April 12 and 14, 2010 revealed that after the service providers had submitted their claims, the accused person raised the payment vouchers and arrived at a total sum of GH¢134,481.81.
He took the amount from the NHIA and was billed to pay the 15 service providers but he paid GH¢27,775.58 leaving a difference of GH¢106,706.23, which, according to the prosecution, he could not account for.
The facts further stated that the accused person allegeldy forged some documents and raised vouchers in respect of non-existing service providers and collected the moneys illegally.

Court orders UT boss, lawyer to open defence in fraud case

 January 29, 2014 (Page 43)

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UT Holdings Limited, Prince Kofi Amoabeng, and a lawyer suffered a setback at the Circuit Court in Accra yesterday when the court ordered them to open their defence in a fraud case brought against them by the state.
Dismissing a submission of ‘no case’ filed on their behalf by their lawyers, the court, presided over by Mr Francis Obiri, ruled that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the two to warrant them to open their defence.
They are, therefore, expected to open their defence on February 11, 2014.
The two left the court premises in low spirits, while the complainant looked elated.

The Offences

Amoabeng has been accused of releasing title deed documents of the complainant, Naa Otuah Sawyne, which were in the custody of his bank to one Alexander Adjei, now deceased, to secure a loan of GH¢1,279,000 from the HFC Bank.
His accomplice, John Aidoo, is also alleged to have altered the title deeds of the complainant to reflect Adjei’s name without recourse to the complainant.
Amoabeng has pleaded not guilty to one count of fraud, while Aidoo has pleaded not guilty to one count of abetment of crime.
Both have been admitted to bail.
The prosecution called five witnesses who testified against the two accused persons but the two filed submissions of ‘no case’ after the prosecution had closed its case.
They had argued that the prosecution had failed to prove their guilt and for that reason the court must set them free.
Open your defence
Giving reasons for dismissing the submissions of ‘no case’, the court held that the prosecution was able to establish that the documents Adjei used in securing the loan at the HFC Bank did, indeed, belong to the complainant.
The court held that the prosecution was also able to establish that Amoabeng wrote to the State Housing Company (SHC) requesting the SHC to transfer the documents into the name of Adjei without the consent of the complainant.
It further ruled that the prosecution was able to prove that Amoabeng gave the document to Adjei to secure a loan at the HFC Bank without the complainant’s permission.

Evidence against lawyer

The court said Aidoo, who was the Solicitor Secretary of SHC at the time of the commission of the offence, knew that the complainant had not given her consent for her documents to be used as collateral for Adjei but he still went ahead to give approval for the document to be altered to bear the name of Adjei.
Based on those pieces of evidence adduced by the prosecution, the court held an overall view that the accused persons needed to open their defence to state their side of the story.

Facts of the case
A Deputy Superintendent of Police, Aidan Dery, prosecuted the case.
According to the facts of the case, as presented by the prosecution, Ms Sawyne is a novelist residing at Dansoman in Accra.
In October 2005, the complainant decided to sell her house at Number 23 Ringway Estate in Accra and thus entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Adjei.
Per the agreement, the complainant and Adjei agreed on $280,000 as the purchase price, which was to be paid in three instalments in October, November and December 2005.
Adjei paid $100,000 on October 14, 2005, as agreed, but failed to pay the remaining amount.
The prosecution said the complainant was billed to travel to the UK and for that reason she borrowed GH¢25,000 from UT Financial Services and used the title deed of her house as collateral.
As part of the loan agreement, the complainant prepared and signed a deed of assignment conditionally in respect of sale transaction with the understanding that the final transaction would be witnessed by her lawyer, Martin Nwousu, and handed over to the buyer upon full payment of the purchase price.

“Closed-door” transactions

However, on May 22, 2006, Adjei allegedly used the complainant’s title deed, which was then in the custody of Amoabeng, to obtain a loan facility from the HFC Bank.
On September 27, 2007, the prosecution indicated, Amoabeng, without recourse to the complainant, allegedly wrote a letter to the SHC informing it that Adjei had purchased the complainant’s house and, therefore, asked SHC to assign the property to Adjei.
According to the prosecution, Aidoo, then the Solicitor Secretary of SHC, having records that the complainant owned the property in question, signed a letter of consent and gave consent to mortgage property on July 23, 2009, an act which he (Aidoo) had no capacity to carry out.



Abuga Pele, Assibit charged - With causing financial loss to the state

 January 25, 2014 (Lead Story)

A former Co-ordinator of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), Abuga Pele and another were on January 24, 2014 put before the Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court for causing financial of GHC4.1 million.
Pele was alleged to have entered into a contract with the second accused person, Philip Akpeena Assibit, a representative of Goodwill International Ghana (GIG), to engage in activities which have not inured to the benefit of the state.
The former Co-ordinator of the NYEP, now known as the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA), faces five counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state, two counts of abetment of crime and one count of intentionally misappropriating public property.
Assibit, on the otherhand, faces five counts of dishonestly causing loss to public property, two counts of abetment of crime and six counts of defrauding by false pretence.
They both pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been granted bail by the court, presided over by Mrs Justice Afia S. Asare-Botwe, to reappear on February 11, 2014.
Snippets of Offence

According to the prosecution, Pele and Assibit signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which gave GIG the mandate to render services without recourse to then Minister of Employment or the Attorney-General.
Assibit was said to have given false representation that he had secured a $65 million loan facility from the World Bank for the implementation of the Youth Enterprise Development Programme (YEDP) and had in the process employed 250 youth to support the implementation of the YEDP as well as developed and facilitated the launch of an effectual exit programme for all NYEP modules.

Calm Demeanour

The accused persons looked on calmly when a Principal State Attorney, Mrs Evelyn Keelson, read out their charges.
Counsel for Pele, Mr Thaddeus Sory, prayed the court to grant his client self-recognisance bail on the grounds that his client was the Member of Parliament for Chiana Paga who had served in various public capacities as an MP and had not been found to have engaged in any form of illegality while holding public office.
“He has impeccable credentials,” counsel argued and further reminded the court that Pele had a legislative function to perform as an MP and for that reason the court should grant him bail to enable him to perform those functions as MP.
Counsel argued that the facts of the case were not only “fragile but hollow,” and accordingly prayed the court to grant Pele bail.
On his part, lawyer for Assibit, Mr Raymond Bagnabu, prayed the court to grant his client self-recognisance bail because his client had complied with bail conditions from EOCO.
He further stated that he will lead evidence to prove the innocence ofAssibit ,who counsel argued was a businessman of international repute and also had a fixed place of abode.
He said the number of charges leveled against Assibit were attributable to the uncertainty of the prosecution.

Bail Conditions

Pele was granted self-recognisance bail while Assibit was granted a GHC2 million bail with four sureties, two to be justified.
Both accused persons were directed to report to the investigator in charge of the case on Mondays at 9 am.

Background to the case

The facts of the case as presented by Mrs Keelson were that in 2009, Pele on assumption of office as the National Co-ordinator of the NYEP, entered into a contract with Assibit. Under the terms of the agreement – the NYEP was described as the ‘Host” while ‘GIG’ was tagged as ‘Strategic Partner.”
According to the prosecution, the parties agreed to combine their labour, properties and skills for the purpose of engaging in resource mobilization, investor sourcing, management consulting, capacity building, career development and training services among others.
Per the agreement, GIG was responsible for resource mobilization and undertook to provide preliminary funds for the development of the programme while the parties agreed to share to equally share the profits that would accrue out of the agreement.
“Meanwhile, there is nothing on record in terms of business proposals or documents forming the basis of engaging GIG as a Strategic Partner,” the prosecution stated.
Assibit between May 2011 and May 2012, “made a number of payment claims for consultancy services he claimed to have rendered to the NYEP ranging from the provision of exit plan and strategy for all NYEP modules, established a Youth Enterprise Development Project which he claimed to have used in securing approval for a World Bank facility of $65 million for the NYEP and had recruited and trained 250 youth to support the implementation of what he referred to as the World Bank funded Youth Enterprise Development Programme (YEDP),” the prosecution said.

 False Claims

Continuing with the evidence gathered against the accused persons, Mrs Keelson told the court that the representations put forward by Assibit were supported Pele who used them as the basis for justifying, recommending and approving a total amount of GH3,330, 568.53, the equivalent of $1,948,626.68 to Assibit claiming among others that, Assibit’s work had directly resulted in a World Bank support of $65 million for the NYEP.
“Meanwhile investigations revealed that all these representations were false,” she pointed out and further indicated that investigations revealed that GIG was never appointed a consultant to NYEP.
The prosecution said Assibit had failed to provide any exit plan and strategy for NYEP modules adding that Assibit had again not conducted any financial engineering for the approval of a World Bank facility of $65 million as he had claimed and corroborated by Pele.
“Indeed there has not been any approval by the World Bank of $65 million for the NYEP,” the prosecution pointed out and said investigations also discovered that in August 2012, Assibit was paid an additional GHC835,000.00 under the guise of what was referred to as “tracer studies” for the World Bank as the last requirement needed to be met for the approval of the $65 million facility.
According to the prosecution, Assibit’s claims on the tracer studies were also supported by Pele and grounded upon which Pele approved the payment of the amount Assibit.
The actions of Pele according to the prosecution had caused financial loss to the state and it was based on these facts that the accused persons had been put before the court.

Quick Read:
  • The former National Co-ordinator of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), Abuga Pele and a representative of Goodwill International Group (GIG) have been put before the Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court for causing financial loss of GHC4.1 million.
  • They are facing 19 counts of of dishonestly causing loss to public property, abetment of crime and defrauding by false pretence.
  • They have both pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been granted bail by the court presided over by Mrs Justice Afia S. Asare-Botwe, to reappear on February 11, 2014 for trial.

Liquidate assets of Noble Gold

 January 24, 2014 - Page 56
A private company, Riasand Ventures Limited, will, today, move a motion at the Fast Track High Court for the liquidation of the assets of Noble Gold Bibiani Limited, an Australian mining company.
Riasand took the action as a result of the failure of Noble Gold to pay Riasand a $730,252.30 judgement debt.
Noble Gold was, on September 20, 2013, ordered by the court to pay the $730,252.30, with an accompanying GH¢50,000 in costs, to Riasand for breach of contract.
However, four months after the delivery of the court’s judgement, all efforts by the applicant to retrieve the judgement debt, which arose out of the mining company’s failure to pay the applicant for supplying it with gold tailings, had yielded no result.
Accordingly, counsel for Riasand Ventures, Mr Cosmas Anpengnuo, has filed a motion on notice for an order to officially wind up Noble Gold Bibiani Limited.

Affidavit of Applicant

An affidavit in support of the motion, sworn on behalf of Riasand Ventures by its Managing Director, Mr Richmond Amoako-Mensah, stated, among other things, that his lawyer caused entry of judgement after the court’s judgement, but Noble Gold failed to settle its indebtedness.
According to the affidavit, the applicant had a further claim of $375,650 pending before the Fast Track High Court, while the mining company also owed other companies thousands of dollars.
It said the applicant, on October 30, 2013, filed an application to freeze the accounts of the mining company in its bid to retrieve the judgement debt, but it emerged that Noble Gold had less than $6,000 in two of its major accounts with two banks in Accra.

Seizure of Vehicles

It said in an attempt to get its money back, the applicant went into execution and seized two vehicles and office equipment belonging to Noble Gold, but another company emerged and claimed ownership of the said items.


According to the affidavit, it had also come to the notice of the applicant that Noble Gold “has declared redundancy and only been able to pay a minimal percentage of its employee’s redundancy package and that there are a host of other creditors who have not been paid”.
It said after making repeated demands on Noble Gold to honour its debt obligation and the subsequent failure of the company to heed those demands, “the company has demonstrated that it is unable to pay its debts, as it has a large stock of creditors and that is a proper case in which this honourable court would intervene to order that the company be wound up”.

Teacher before court for defiling five-year-old (January 24, 2014 page 29)

A 24-year-old teacher, who allegedly defiled a five-year-old kindergarten pupil, was yesterday put before the Accra Circuit Court.
Nana Yaw Adu-Larbi, a teacher at the victim’s school at Gbawe in Accra, allegedly abused the girl sexually around 3 p.m. on January 14, 2014.
He pleaded not guilty to one count of defilement and was remanded by the court, presided over by Ms Ellen Amoah, to reappear on February 2, 2014.

Prosecution’s Case

Prosecuting, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mrs Sarah Acquah said the school had closed on that day and the victim was waiting for the school bus to pick her up when she felt like urinating.
She then went to the washroom designed for nursery pupils to urinate but Adu-Larbi followed her there and sexually abused her.
He then warned her not to inform anyone or risk being lashed by him.
The victim bled as a result of the act and on reaching home around 5 p.m., she pleaded with her mother’s friend, who was then washing clothes, to wash her pants for her because she (victim) was feeling uncomfortable.
The woman obliged and directed the victim to remove her pants but, to the woman’s surprise, the victim’s pants were soaked with blood, while blood oozed out of her vagina.

Victim rushed to hospital

The attention of the victim’s mother was drawn to her daughter’s predicament and that prompted the mother to rush the victim to hospital.
A medical doctor who examined the victim confirmed that she had, indeed, been defiled.
Upon interrogation, the victim informed the doctor that she had been defiled by Adu-Larbi.
The doctor then referred her to the Police Hospital for further examination.
A complaint was subsequently lodged with the Odorkor Office of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), resulting in the arrest and prosecution of the accused person.

Jilted man posts girlfriend's nude pictures pictures on Facebook

 January 24, 2014 (Page 20)

Feeling peeved for being jilted by his fiance, a man decided to post naked pictures of his former lover on Facebook.
As if that was not enough, he added the caption, “Porn star, pay and f***”.
He then proceeded to attach his former fiance’s mobile phone number to the uploaded picture for interested persons to call.
Henry Alibah, a student, allegedly committed the offence at Mamprobi in Accra on November 25, 2013 after his 10-minute ultimatum to the complainant to rescind her decision to leave him had elapsed.
He was Wednesday put before the Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Ms Ellen Vivian Amoah, and charged with causing emotional, verbal or psychological abuse, contrary to Sections 1 (b) (iv) and Section 3 (2) of the Domestic Violence Act 737/07.
The court entered a ‘not guilty’ plea on his behalf and remanded him to reappear on February 5, 2014.

Facts of the case

Inspector Kofi Atimbiri told the court that the complainant had, for the past two years, been the fiance of the accused person.
However, the complainant called off the relationship three months ago via a telephone call but her decision infuriated the accused person, who insisted that the relationship should continue.
According to the prosecution, Alibah called the complainant and warned her to return to him or have her naked pictures posted on Facebook.
On November 25, 2013, the accused person again called the complainant on phone and gave her 10 minutes to change her mind or have her naked pictures uploaded on Facebook.
He uploaded the pictures after the 10-minute ultimatum when he was convinced that the complainant was not prepared to return to him.
The complainant’s friends saw her naked pictures on Facebook and quickly drew her attention to them.
She later reported the matter to the police, resulting in the arrest of the accused person.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Govt, Woyome agreed to payment of two instalments - Sarfo Buabeng

 January 24, 2014 (Page 16)
Alfred Agbesi Woyome Alfred Agbesi Woyome
A new revelation concerning what transpired before two instalments of GH¢17 million each were paid to businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome has emerged. It surfaced at the Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court yesterday that the government and Woyome entered into a pre-trial settlement at the Commercial Court before the last two instalments, totalling GH¢34 million, were paid to the businessman who is currently on trial for wilfully causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretence.
The Commercial Court, presided over by Mr Justice Amadu Tanko, had in 2010 granted GH¢51.2 million in judgement debt in favour of Woyome against the state over financial engineering services Woyome claimed he had performed for the government.
It, however, ordered that GH¢17 million be paid to Woyome, while the remaining GH¢34 million be stalled until the court decided on whether or not to set aside its earlier judgement in favour of Woyome.
Lead counsel for Woyome, Mr Sarfo Buabeng, made the revelation on the GH¢34 million settlement while cross-examining an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mr Odame Okyere, at the court’s sitting in Accra.
Counsel had sought to suggest to Mr Okyere, the investigator in the case, that the GH¢51.2 million had been paid to Woyome based on the judgement obtained by Woyome, but the investigator disagreed.
According to the investigator, the court had given permission for only GH¢17 million to be paid until the Attorney-General’s application to set aside the entire judgement was resolved.
The revelation
At that point, Mr Buabeng asked the witness whether or not he found out the state of the matter at the Commercial Court before the second and third instalments were made.
The witness answered in the negative.
Mr Buabeng further queried the witness if he found out whether or not the second and third instalments were paid after a pre-trial settlement between Woyome and the government at the Commercial Court, to which the witness said, “I did not find out.”
Mr Okyere, who had earlier stated that Woyome and the government had compromised the court’s judgement, attempted to explain that parties that compromised court orders could go back to the court to explain settlement terms.
His position was met with a sharp rebuttal from the trial judge, Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam, who held the view that such compromises were contemptuous.
Office of the President
Asked if a former Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Alex Segbefia, knew of Woyome’s claim to the government, the investigator said he interrogated Mr Segbefia who said the Presidency had no hand in matters relating to the judgement debt.
Witness said Mr Segbefia further denied personal knowledge of the said claim and asserted in his statement to the police that Woyome had come to see him (Mr Segbefia) over a different issue and not on matters related to the GH¢51.2 million.
Mr Okyere said he could not get a former Deputy Chief of Staff, Ms Valerie Sawyerr, for interrogation over Woyome’s claim.
According to the witness, he was also not aware of the membership of the team that negotiated Woyome’s claim against the government for providing financial engineering services.
Government agencies
The witness initially disagreed with Mr Buabeng’s suggestion that the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of CAN 2008 were government agencies.
Counsel had sought to prove to the witness that a letter from the Bank of Austria which urged those bodies to accept a financial offer of one billion euros before September 30, 2005 or lose it was, in fact, connected to the government, but the investigator disagreed.
After back and forth questions, answers and further questions, Mr Okyere finally conceded that those bodies were agencies of the government.
Hearing continues on January 30, 2014.

Fact Sheet
  • Alfred Agbesi Woyome faces two counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretence.
  • He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is currently on a GH¢20 million bail.
  • The government is currently at the Commercial Division of the Fast Track High Court to retrieve the GH¢51.2 million but Woyome is battling the state on the grounds that he was entitled to the claim.

Two jailed 40 years for robbery

January 21, 2014 (Page 33)

Two persons were Monday sentenced to a total of 40 years’ imprisonment with hard labour for robbing a lotto writer in Accra.
Abdul Razak Mustapha, a driver, and Francis Ampofoh,  a cobbler,  are to serve 20 years each in prison after the circuit court in Accra found them guilty on two counts of conspiracy and robbery.
According to the prosecution, the convicts robbed the complainant, a lotto writer, of GH¢2,900 at Lapaz in Accra around 7 p.m. on June 18, 2011.
The court, presided over by Mr Francis Obiri, convicted them to five years’ imprisonment each on each count of conspiracy and 20 years on each count of robbery.
The sentences are to run concurrently.
The convicts had pleaded not guilty to the charges, but the court held the view that the prosecution had proved their guilt beyond reasonable doubt after a full trial.
The facts of the case, as presented by the prosecution, were that the complainant had closed for the day and was about to hand over his sales to his employer when the convicts and three others now on the run appeared on the scene, armed with machetes, knives and broken bottles.
They ordered the complainant to hand over the daily sale of GH¢2,900 but he declined to do so, resulting in the robbers threatening to stab him to death if he refused to obey their orders.
Sensing danger, the complainant handed over the money to them.
On August 18, 2011, the complainant received information on the whereabouts of the robbers.
He relayed the information to the police, who subsequently effected their arrest.
• The Accra Circuit Court has sentenced two men to serve 40 years in prison for robbing a lotto writer of GH¢2,900 in Accra.
• The two, Abdul Razak Mustapha, a driver, and Francis Ampofoh, a cobbler, will each serve 20 years.

Man, 64, in court for impregnating grandaughter

 January 17, 2014 (Page 20)

A 64-year-old man was on Thursday arraigned before an Accra circuit court on counts of defilement and incest.

The accused, Emmanuel Oko Lartey, a businessman, was said to have defiled his 15-year-old granddaughter, resulting in a pregnancy.

The victim delivered three weeks ago at a secluded place allegedly provided by Lartey.

Lartey pleaded not guilty to the charges and was remanded in custody to reappear on January 30,2014.

Case of the prosecution

Assistant Superintendent of Police (Mrs) Sarah Acquah, the Prosecutor, told the court presided over by Ms Ellen Amoah that the victim lived close to the accused person who happened to be her maternal grandfather at Korle Gonno in Accra.

The prosecution told the court that Lartey had sexual intercourse with the victim on two occasions when she went to run errands for him last year.

Victim gets pregnant

According to the prosecution, the parents of the victim later realised the victim was 32 weeks pregnant and upon interrogation, she disclosed that her grandfather was responsible.

However, the accused person managed to hide the victim at an unknown location until she delivered.

Lartey was picked up after investigations and charged with the offences.

Man defiles cousin

In a related development, an unemployed man has been remanded in custody by an Accra circuit court for defiling his 13-year-old cousin.

Abdul Rashid Morgan Acquah, alias Zion Junior, was alleged to have defiled his cousin sometime in 2013.

He has pleaded not guilty to one count of defilement and has been remanded by the court presided over by Ms Ellen Amoah to reappear on January 30,2014.

According to the facts of the case as presented by an Assistant'Superintendent of Police, Mrs Mary Acquah, the victim and the accused person lived in the same house.

Last year, Acquah was said to have lured the victim into her grandfather's room and had sexual intercourse with her.

He repeated the act on two separate occasions until a house help informed the victim’s grandmother that Acquah had been making sexual advances at her (house help).

The house help's complaint prompted the victim's grandmother to interview her on whether or not Acquah had made passes at her too.

At that point, the victim narrated her ordeal to her grandmother who subsequently lodged a complaint with the Odorkor office of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOWSU) of the Ghana Police Service.

Investigations led to the arrest of Acquah.

Retired cop in court for killing four

 January 16, 2014 (Page 20)

THE retired police whose gun shots ended the lives of four persons at the coronation of a new chief at Ekumfi-Esarkyir has been remanded in custody by the Accra District Court.
On January 11, 2014, Anthony Forson, was reportedly reloading a gun but it failed to fire the first time.
The weapon, however, went off killing the four persons instantly and injuring another.

Forson is being held for murder but his plea has not been taken.
He was remanded by the court presided over by Ms Christiana Eyiah-Donkor, to reppear on January 27, 2014.   

Driver in the dock for killing immigration officer (January 16, 2014 - page 16)

The late Kofi Quist Defor The late Kofi Quist Defor
A driver who allegedly shot and killed an Immigration Officer on December 28, 2013, was Wednesday remanded in custody by the Accra District Court.
The accused, Aaron Takyi, who worked for the deceased, Kofi Quist Defor, for five years as a driver, was remanded in police custody to reappear on January 29, 2014.
He is facing one count of murder but his plea has not been taken.
Facts of the case
At about 2.00 a.m. on December 28, 2013, Defor and his wife were asleep when the suspect scaled the wall into the house without the dog barking and entered the living room through the kitchen door. According to the police, the dog did not bark because it knew Takyi.
Takyi allegedly broke into Defor’s bedroom, dragged him to the living room and subjected him to severe beating. He later shot Defor in the right shoulder and also hit him severally on the neck, rendering him unconscious. He then abandoned him and fled.
Defor bled profusely out of the gunshot wounds and when he was rushed to the Tema General Hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Defor, an Immigration Officer, lived at Mataheko, near Tema with his wife, Magdalene Tamakloe, and his siblings; Gideon Defor and Jennifer Lamptey, both students.
Takyi, according to the police, had access to almost everything of Defor and became familiar with an Alsatian security dog in the house.
Apart from Gideon Defor and Jennifer Lamptey, who fed the dog, only Defor and Takyi could go near it.
According to the prosecution, led by Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mr Cletus Abadamlora, the accused unceremoniously stopped picking calls from Defor and his wife a week before the incident, with the excuse that Defor failed to buy him a Sprinter bus.
Mr Abadamlora said Defor established contacts with some foreign companies during his posting at the Immigration Headquarters,  including Blow Group of Companies and while on transfer, he still rendered services to these foreign companies.
The prosecutor also said sometime in 2012, Defor received a threatening note which read: ‘Blow plast your man is too arrogant in the office. He thought his schooling so he is not given any respect in the office. This is just the beginning of the battle with him. Immigration is not belong to him is for all of us because we are Ghana. We don’t want you to be in trouble that is why we posted the passport back to you to restart the process afresh. Thank. This should be a lesson to QUIST in the office stupid man.”
Mr Abadamlora said Defor, however, treated the note as a joke and, therefore, did not act on it. He eventually faced his untimely death on December 28, 2013.
Investigations are ongoing.

Security operative before court - For murder of NPP Vice-Chairman

 January 14, 2014 (Page 32/33)


A national security operative was yesterday put before the circuit court in Accra for an alleged robbery and murder of the then New Patriotic Party (NPP) Vice-Chairman of the Dome Kwabenya Constituency, Mr Patrick Opoku Baah.
Wahab Naakpah, who appeared together with Alhaji Martey Tei Korley, alias Mohammed, displayed open grief when the court declined to grant him bail.
They were said to have committed the crime at Taifa in Accra, on June 18, 2009 and robbed the deceased of his jewellery, a single-barrelled pump action gun and GH¢3,500 cash.
Both face four counts of conspiracy, robbery and murder.
Korley, who is also known as ‘Commando’, faces an additional charge of possessing narcotic drugs without lawful authority.
They both pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Refusing them bail on the grounds that the offences were not bailable, the court, presided over by Mr Francis Obiri, remanded the two in custody to reappear on January 27, 2014.
Meanwhile, the docket on the case has been forwarded to the Attorney-General's office for advice.
Facts of the case
The facts of the case as presented by the prosecution were  that the son of the deceased, who is also the complainant in the case, lived together with his parents at Taifa.
Around 1 a.m. on June 18, 2009,  three armed men attacked  Mr Baah, his wife and son and robbed them of their belongings and GH¢3,500.
Mr Opoku Baah was shot three times in the chest when he attempted to pick up his pump action gun after the robbery.
They then took his gun and went to a room which housed the deceased's visitor from Germany, shot him also and robbed him of GH¢1000, 3,500 euros and a Nokia cellular phone.
The robbers bolted immediately after the robbery, while Opoku Baah and his German friend, Mr Claus Timmann, were rushed to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, Mr Baah was pronounced dead on arrival.
Mr Timmann was treated and  he left for Germany three days after the incident.
On November 16, 2009, Korley was overheard by a witness telling people he was contracted to kill the deceased.
A witness in the case recorded Korley's confession and forwarded it to the police.
Naakpah was cited with another in the recordings as being one of the accomplices in the robbery.
Korley was subsequently arrested on November 17, 2013 and a search on him revealed one wrapper of Indian hemp in his pocket.
Naakpah was picked up on January 9, 2014. The police are making efforts to arrest a third accomplice.

ECG pays GH¢36,327.70 compensation (January 13, 2014 - page 49)

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has paid GH¢36,327.70 to 15 consumers whose equipment got damaged as a result of power surges and fluctuations in 2013.
The damaged equipment included domestic and commercial refrigerators,  a voltage guard, a corn mill, a Panasonic printer,  a Multi TV Digi Box and a plasma television. A hotel which had one of its rooms burnt due to poor service from the ECG was also compensated after it had submitted evidence to support its claims against the utility company.
Because of the persistent failure of the ECG to respond to the complaints of the affected consumers, they submitted separate petitions to the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) to investigate the matter to ascertain the cause of the damage.
Upon realising that the grievances of the consumers were genuine, the PURC proceeded to use powers vested in it to prevail on the ECG to pay the said compensation to the consumers.
According to the Director of Public Affairs and External Relations of the PURC, Nana Yaa Akyempim Jantuah, the affected consumers were five commercial entities and 10 individuals.
She said the amount paid to the distressed consumers ranged from GH¢150 to  GH¢5,045.70.
Ms Jantuah explained that the commission thoroughly investigated the complaints to ascertain the cause of damage before proceeding to let the utility service provider pay compensation to the consumer.
She reminded the public that compensation was paid by the utility company that caused the damage and not the PURC.
The PURC, she said, protected the interest of consumers in that regard and accordingly stressed that the PURC was committed to protecting the interest of all consumers of water and electricity.
Report problems to the PURC
Consumers whose equipment or appliances are damaged because of poor quality of service by utility service providers can report to the PURC for redress.
The commission is accordingly inviting all consumers of water and electricity who have lodged complaints with utility companies but have not received any feedback to report their grievances to the PURC for resolution.
Under the PURC (Complaints Procedure) Regulations 1999 (LI 1665), any consumer who has issues with any utility company is expected to send a written or oral compliant to the PURC.
Complainants are expected to provide their full names, contact addresses, telephone numbers, account numbers and the utility company or the person against whom the complaint is being lodged.
Particulars of the nature of the complaint, together with copies of any document in support of the complaint and the relief being sought by the aggrieved customer, must also be provided.
Per its procedures, the PURC then forwards copies of consumers’ complaints to the utility service provider against whom the said complaint has been lodged.
The Commission then conducts preliminary enquiry into the matter and also determines whether or not the complaint could be settled through mediation and settlement.
When there is a deadlock, the PURC conducts a formal hearing where both parties are given the opportunity to state their respective cases. The PURC, after the hearing, arrives at a decision.
In this regard, the PURC has expressed its commitment to ensure that dissatisfied consumers of water and electricity whose concerns have not been addressed by utility companies are resolved satisfactorily.

5 Bodies 'indicted' - Over GHC51.2 m payment to Woyome

  January 9, 2014 (Lead story)

A police investigator Wednesday told the Accra Fast Track High Court that five institutions failed to conduct due diligence before sanctioning the payment of GH¢51.2 million to businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome in 2010.
Mr Odame Okyere, the investigator, pointed accusing fingers at the Attorney-General's office, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP), the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of CAN 2008 and Building Industry Consultants (BIC) for recommending payment to Woyome without verifying the authenticity of the documents submitted by him.
Lead counsel for Woyome, Mr Sarfo Buabeng, had suggested that the cited bodies acted properly, but the investigator disagreed and said, "they didn't do their work well." That, according to Mr Okyere, was because the entities agreed that Woyome was entitled to the claim, based on documents he submitted.
According to the witness, the said entities did not do due diligence on documents submitted by Woyome, because when the investigation team sent Woyome's documents to Bank Austria, they found that no money had been committed to support any project in Ghana.
At that point, counsel suggested to Mr Okyere that the five entities did not do their work well, to which he answered in the affirmative.
Woyome was paid the amount for conducting financial engineering for the award of 1.1 billion Euros from Bank Austria but Mr Okyere said investigations into the matter revealed that that money was never made available to the government.

Letter from Bank Austria

Counsel directed Mr Okyere to read out portions of a letter from Bank Austria which said a 1.1 billion Euros facility for the construction of hospitals, stadia and other projects would not be made available to the LOC if the offer was not accepted before September 30, 2005.
Asked if the LOC accepted the offer before the said September 30, 2005, Mr Okyere said he did not have any document to that effect.
He, however, told the court that he had indeed verified the authenticity of the signatory of the letter giving the deadline from the Bank of Austria and the signature was found to be genuine.


Mr Buabeng: Do you know the term financial engineering?
Mr Okyere: I know. It is simulating for funds for a project.
Mr Buabeng: This petition never mentioned anywhere that funds had been transferred from Bank Austria to the accounts of the Republic of Ghana?
Mr Okyere: He said monies were available in Bank Austria.
Counsel then questioned the witness on the outcome of investigations on Austro-Invest to which Mr Okyere said the company was not registered in Ghana per records from the Registrar-General's office.
He added that he then attempted to contact the owner of Austro-Invest, Mr Ray Smith,  who had an office at Dzorwulu but was told he was then out of the country.
Mr Okyere, who is the ninth and last prosecution witness in the case, said the lawyer for Austro Invest, Mr Tony Lithur, wrote to the police stating that Mr Smith was indisposed and that he would accordingly notify the police when he got back to the country.
Asked if he followed the issue up after he had returned to the Dzorwulu office, the witness replied in the negative.
Waterville Holdings (BVI) Limited engaged Austro-Invest to source money for the stadia construction project.


Led earlier by a Chief State Attorney, Mr Matthew Amponsah, to give his evidence-in-chief, Mr Okyere stated that Woyome submitted a claim to justify his raising 1.1 billion Euros for the construction of nine different stadia in nine different regions and other projects, but "nothing of the sort was built."
"That money never came to Ghana," Mr Okyere emphasised.
Witness told the court, presided over by Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam that Woyome "had no title to claim because he did not have any contract with government for which he made that claim."
Nonetheless, he said Vamed Engineering had a contract with Woyome.
Woyome scrutinises documents
The prosecution sought to tender in evidence various statements taken from Woyome,  but he stood up and scrutinised each statement with his lawyer.
The judge at a point asked him: "is that not your handwriting?"
In his response, Woyome conceded that it was his handwriting, but added, "I am looking carefully to see if there are no additions."
All the statements were tendered without any objection from Woyome's counsel.

Prosecution witnesses

The prosecution, which has since closed its case, called Mrs Mangowa Ghanney of the MOFEP; a former Minister of Finance, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo; a former Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu; Ms Yvonne Quansah of MOFEP, and a former Deputy Governor of BoG, Mr Lionel Van Lare Dosoo, as its other witnesses.
Ms Lesley Dodoo of the Public Procurement Authority, Mr Andrea Orlandi, then Managing Director of Waterville Holdings, and Mr Ahmed Sulemana, the acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Justice, have also testified for the state.