Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Court to rule on bail application for NSS Director on Nov 3

Alhaji Alhassan Mohammed Imoro

The Accra Circuit Court will on Monday, November 3, 2014 decide whether or not to grant bail to the Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Alhaji Alhassan Mohammed Imoro, who has been accused of allegedly stealing GH¢86.9 million belonging to the state.
He is, therefore, to remain in lawful custody until the next adjourned date.
A five-member legal team led by Mr Dennis Adjei Dwomoh put in a bail application after the prosecution had prayed the court to once again remand Alhaji Imoro for investigations to continue.
The presiding judge, Mr Francis Obiri, fixed November 3, 2014 for delivery of his ruling on the bail application.
He also directed the prosecution to send the accused person to the Police Hospital for medical care after Mr Dwomoh had informed the court that Alhaji Imoro suffered from asthma.
Alhaji Imoro has pleaded not guilty to one count of stealing, contrary to Section 124 (1) of the Criminal Offences Act, Act 29 of 1960.
Interesting dimension
An interesting episode ensued when Mr Dwomoh complained of inhumane treatment meted out to Alhaji Imoro in the cells of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).
Notable among them were the allegation that lawyers for Alhaji Imoro were not given ample time to have a conference with him; the refusal of BNI officials to allow the accused person to either eat home-made food or have access to warm clothing except blanket, and boxer shorts.
But the investigator in charge of the case refuted some of the allegations and explained that the accused person could commit suicide with his clothing.
He also told the court that the BNI had caterers who would prepare any special meal for the accused person if he so wished.
Considering the allegations levelled against the BNI by the defence team, the court directed that the accused person be transferred to either a prison or police custody.
Immediately after the court’s pronouncement, Alhaji Imoro beckoned his lawyer to the docket, and had a short inaudible discussion with him.
Lawyer Dwomoh, afterwards, reversed his earlier plea and told the court his client was okay staying in the BNI cells.
The court accordingly reversed its earlier decision and directed the state to place Alhaji Imoro in BNI cells, give him medical care, provide him with a special meal upon request, as well as allow him to have access to his lawyers and family members within working hours.
Voluminous documents 
Earlier, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr A. A. Annor, had prayed the court to remand the accused person because investigators were dealing with voluminous documents, and still in the process of interrogating witnesses.
“Our instructions are that because of the voluminous manner of documents and the need to contact certain people scattered throughout Ghana, it is the contention of the prosecution that granting bail at this juncture will result in interference with witnesses and evidence,” Mr Annor stated.
But his submission was met with fierce rejection from Mr Dwomoh, who tagged the prosecution’s prayer as a “broken record”.
He said it was unfortunate for the prosecution to hold such position and queried what would happen if investigations were to last more than a year or two.
According to the facts of the case, the BNI in July, 2014 began a nationwide investigation into the operations of the NSS with regard to the payment of monthly allowances to service persons.
It said investigations so far had revealed that for every month starting from September 2013, to July 2014, GH¢7.9 million was paid to 22,612 non-existing/ghosts service persons, resulting in a total loss of GH¢86.9 million within the period.
It came up during the investigations that the ghost names were generated at the NSS headquarters under the supervision of Alhaji Imoro.

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