Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Nayele Cocaine: Court sets Dec 12, 15 to rule on bail applications


 The Circuit Court in Accra yesterday heard bail applications for six persons accused of playing various roles to assist Ruby Nayele Ametefeh to export 12.5 kilogrammes of cocaine to the United Kingdom.
It will, on December 12 and 15, 2015, give three separate rulings on whether or not to grant bail to Sadala Nuhu, Nana Akua Amponsah, both businesswomen, Alhaji Mohammed Dawood, a businessman; Abiel Ashitey Armah, a Foreign Service officer; Ahmed Abubakar, a State Protocol officer, and Theophilus Kissi, a civil servant.
A team of lawyers moved separate bail applications for the accused persons and argued that the facts of the case did not match the charges levelled against their clients.
The court, presided over by Mr Francis Obiri, fixed December 12, 2014 to rule on whether or not to grant bail to Nuhu, Amponsah and Alhaji Dawood, while it will decide on the bail application for Armah, Abubakar and Kissi on December 15, 2014.

Nuhu and Amponsah are alleged to have, on or about November 9, 2014, conspired with Ametefeh, aka Ruby Appiah or Ruby Adu Gyamfi, to export the said narcotic drugs.
The prosecution said Armah was, on November 9, 2014, contracted by Alhaji Dawood to facilitate the passage of Ametefeh and the two other ladies through the VIP Lounge at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA). 
It said Armah consequently instructed Abubakar and Kissi to assist the three ladies.
According to the prosecution, Ametefeh, Nuhu and Amponsah were ushered through the VIP Lounge of the KIA by Abubakar and Kissi to board a British Airways aircraft bound for the UK.
Abubakar and Kissi are also alleged to have facilitated the departure formalities for the three ladies and consequently carried their luggage onto the aircraft.
A man in a black suit brought in another luggage, which was handed over to Ametefeh in the aircraft.
Ametefeh was arrested in the UK. 
The following day, Nuhu flew to Paris in France and joined a flight to Togo before returning to Ghana.  
Amponsah also bolted to Ghana later.

Application for Alhaji Dawood
Pleading with the court to grant his client bail, the lawyer for Alhaji Dawood, Mr Addo Atuah, argued that the charge of abetment of crime levelled against Alhaji Dawood was bailable.
“Aiding Ametefeh to use the VIP Lounge does not constitute an offence,” counsel said.
According to him, “even if she did not use the VIP Lounge, the substance could have been sent to her. There is no evidence the accused person helped Ametefeh to commit the offence”.
“Nothing ties the court’s hands from granting bail. He voluntarily reported himself to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI),” Mr Atuah stated, and accordingly prayed the court to admit his client to bail.

Nuhu and Amponsah
Leading a team of lawyers, Mr Ellis Owusu-Fordjour urged the court to grant Nuhu and Amponsah bail, with the reason that the charges levelled against them were not in tandem with the facts of the case.
“Is it an offence to travel in a group to London? If one was carrying a weapon, should the others be held liable?” Mr Owusu-Fordjour queried.
Another lawyer, Mr Thaddeus Sory, prayed the court not to entertain what he termed the prosecution’s attempt “to treat the court as a remand institution”.
“If you are not sure of the offence, why arrest? This is a court of law and not a remand institution,” he emphasised.

Plea for Armah and co
Counsel for Armah, Mr Frank Davies, also implored the court to grant his client bail, with the explanation that Armah had committed no wrong.
He said there was nothing else for the prosecution to investigate, adding, “The accused person is entitled to bail.”
Lawyers for Abubakar and Kissi, Messrs  Mohammed Attah and Benson Aikins, respectively, prayed the court to release their clients on bail.
According to them, their clients had not committed any offence to warrant being kept on remand.
Mr Aikins was emphatic in stating that Kissi only acted on instructions from his superior officer.

Prosecution’s position
A Chief State Attorney, Ms Penelope Marmattah, however, urged the court to remand the accused persons because investigations were ongoing.

Nayele Ametefeh
Ametefeh was arrested at the Heathrow Airport on November 10, 2014 after she was found to be in possession of 12.5 kilogrammes of cocaine.
She has since pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges and will be sentenced on January 5, 2015 in the UK.

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