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17.03.2007 Crime & Punishment

Chief fined ¢2m for stealing cement

By myjoyonline

The Akyem Swedru Circuit Court has convicted Nana Baafi Ankrah Ababio IV, a 71-year-old chief of Akyem Abenase in the Birim North District to a fine of two million cedis for stealing 43 bags of cement valued at ¢2,494,000.

Nana Ababio would go to prison for 12 months in hard labour in default.

The Prosecutor, Police Chief Inspector Monku Kofi Oduro, told the Court presided over by Mr Justice Edward Kwame Bosompem Apenkwah, that the complainant was the Assemblyman for Akyem Abenase.

He said in September 2004, the Birim North District Assembly allocated 200 bags of cement and a quantity of roofing sheets for development projects in the town.

The complainant informed the chief and the items were later deposited at the palace, as had been the practice.

Mr Oduro said out of the 200 bags of cement, a total of 157 bags were used on projects at Akyem Abenase, leaving a difference of 43 bags, which remained in the custody of the chief at the palace.

He said in April 2005, the complainant detected that the 43 bags of cement were missing from the palace.

The Assemblyman therefore approached the chief to account for them but he denied knowledge of the bags of cement.

The prosecutor said on May 29, 2005, the Assemblyman had information that the chief was secretly offering some bags of cement for sale.

He said the Assemblyman hinted some members of the Youth Committee who kept surveillance on the palace.

He said four persons were seen carrying bags of cement from the palace and when they were challenged they claimed to have bought them from the chief at ¢50,000 a bag instead of the market price of ¢57,000.

The Committee Members managed to retrieve 14 bags from the men and later lodged a complaint with the Akyem Oda Police.