Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Police recruitment scam: Timbilla’s signature for forensic test

Mr Patrick Timbilla — interdicted
Mr Patrick Timbilla — interdicted

It has now been established that GH¢2.7 million was paid by 1,100 people as bribes in the recent scam recruitment into the Ghana Police Service.
The victims are said to have paid between GH¢2,000 and GH¢7,000 to be recruited into the service, but the admission letters they received turned out to be fake.
The victims include graduates of senior high schools and tertiary institutions across the country.
A source at the Attorney-General’s Department, who made this known to the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra yesterday, said investigators had also traced the bank accounts the money was paid into.
The interdicted Director-General of the Human Resource Department of the Ghana Police Service, Mr Patrick Timbilla; Aisha Asumda, alias Aisha Boku Masi, a 36-year-old shea butter seller, and Alifa Adams are alleged to have played various roles in the alleged scam.
“We are currently studying the docket to sift through to identify potential witnesses. There are middlemen involved and we need to interview as many of the victims and middlemen as possible to enable us to conduct effective prosecution,” the source said.
 Mr Timbilla’s signature, which was found on the fake admission letters, according to the source, had been sent to the Police Forensic Laboratory for examination.
Charges and timeline
On charges to be preferred against the suspects, the source said: “We are currently interviewing potential witnesses. We can only draft the charges on completion of the interviews and receipt of the forensic results.”
It noted that although the docket was received last month, it was not in a position to state the exact date prosecution would start.
That, according to the source, was because there were outstanding issues to be investigated in the scam, which occurred between September 2014 and February 2015.
“We also need the result on the signature to arrive at a firm decision on Mr Timbilla,” it said.
On February 28, 2015, reports said hundreds of young men and women had turned up at five police training depots for enlistment into the Ghana Police Service but they left disappointed after they found out it was a scam.
It was found out that their recruitment letters, which had  Mr Timbilla’s signature on them, were fake and that the purported enlistment was a fraud.
The victims of the scam, who had gone to the Kumasi, Koforidua, Pwalugu, Accra and Ho Police depots with their luggage to begin the training, claimed they had paid between GH¢2,000 and GH¢3,500 to the alleged fraudsters.
The Police Administration set up a Special Investigations Taskforce, headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr Bright Oduro, to look into the alleged scam.
Persons involved 
The taskforce investigated 14 people, including three police officers and 11 civilians.
The three police officers included Mr  Timbilla.
Mr Timbilla was interdicted immediately he was mentioned by some of the suspects arrested in connection with the recruitment scam.
The other police officers are General Corporal Gideon Sarpong of the Visibility Unit, Takoradi, and Constable Ruth Agyiri, 27, Central Police Station, Koforidua.
Two suspects — Aisha and her accomplice, Alifa — were arrested at Tesano and Adenta, respectively, following a tip-off.
The other civilians included Amos Brown, Pastor Paul Danso and Richard Harrison.
The report of the taskforce was presented to the Police Council on March 20, 2015.

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