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Man with 15 voter ID cards fined GHC6,000


Emmanuel Archibald Laryea, the 47-year-old labourer arrested with 15 biometric voter identity cards, was on Tuesday sentenced to a fine of GHc6,000 or in default would serve a two-year-jail term for engaging in multiple registrations.

In addition, the Accra District Magistrate's Court sentenced Laryea to GHc600 fine or in default would serve nine months imprisonment for causing bodily harm.

It said the sentences were to run consecutively to serve as a deterrent to others.

The court presided over by Mr Ali Baba Bature ordered that all the biometric voter identity cards should be destroyed in the presence of officials of the Electoral Commission and personnel of the Ghana Police Service.

Soon after the court had handed down the sentence, Laryea's brother produced a card purportedly to show that his brother was a psychiatric patient, but the court did not accept it.

Laryea, at the last sitting pleaded guilty to two counts of engaging in multiple registrations and causing harm to Lance Corporal William Afedor by biting his thumb.

The court convicted Laryea on his own plea and remanded him into custody.

Earlier, answering questions as to why he flagrantly violated the law and engaged in multiple registrations, Laryea said he had a psychiatric problem.

A lawyer who acted as friend of the court pleaded with the court and requested that Laryea be sent to the Psychiatric Hospital for medical examination.

The trial judge however rejected that submission saying he was medically fit since he committed similar offence in the 2008 general election during which he obtained 13 voter ID cards.

Police Inspector P.Y. Manu, prosecuting told the court that the complainant, Gideon Asare Baffour, was an electoral officer, while the accused who resides at Dansoman, on April 19 went to the Navoda registration centre at Mallam to register after producing his old voter registration card.

He said Laryea after going through the initial registration procedure of providing his name, age and other requirements, the scanner detected that his fingerprints had already been registered.

The prosecutor said it was realised that Laryea had registered at Tantua registration centre, therefore the Police at Odorkor was called and he was arrested.

Inspector Manu said four toy pistols were retrieved from his residence and in a bid to run away from justice, Laryea bit the thumb of Corporal Afedor but was apprehended after a chase.

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