NDC Agent Grabbed
4/25/2012 4:01:29 PM -
A 48-year-old farmer, William Dawe, was yesterday remanded into prison custody for allegedly hoarding a large number of the new biometric voter identification cards at Shia in the Ho Municipality of the Volta Region.
William Dawe, an NDC agent at Shia in the ongoing biometric exercise, is facing trial at a Ho Magistrate Court presided over by Augustine Akusa-am.
He was charged with unlawful possession of voters' identification cards and pleaded not guilty.
His offence, according to the prosecution, fell under the Public Elections Regulations of Voters-Registration 2012, 28 (1) which stipulates that 'a person who possesses the identification card of another person without the express consent of that other person commits an offence'.
Narrating the incident, the prosecution, Inspector Sheila Odae, said the accused person, fondly called 'Bomee', was arrested on April 18, 2012 at Shia by the Police Patrol Team monitoring the biometric registration centres within the municipality.
On reaching Shia, a border community which shares boundaries with Togo, they gathered intelligence of the activities of William.
Based on the information gathered, they arrested William on whom they found 20 new biometric identification cards and 60 registration receipts which he had collected from unsuspecting electorate under the pretext that they had some anomalies which needed correction.
Inspector Odae added that further investigations revealed that the accused had made the activity a habit, and had already collected 216 ID cards after the first 10 days of the registration exercise in Shia.
He admitted collecting the cards and was charged and arraigned accordingly, the prosecutor noted.
Counsel for William, Ernest Gaewu prayed the court to grant the accused bail since he was already on police enquiry bail and had cooperated with the police in their investigations.
Counsel said the accused had not been found guilty, and had a wife and a child with whom he lived and there was no way he would run away when given bail.
However, Magistrate Akusa-am denied the accused bail.
He said considering the enormity of the offence and the punishment when found guilty, as well as the fact that the accused lived along the Ghana Togo border, he had to be remanded since he could easily cross the border and escape trial. He therefore remanded him into prison custody to re-appear on May 8, 2012.
According to the Public Elections Regulations of Voters-Registration 2012, 'an individual who commits the offence of unlawful possession of another person's identification card is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than five hundred penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not more than two years for each identification card which is held unlawful'.
From Fred Duodu, Ho