Ex- Assembly member faces court for pocketing GHC500,000 meant for road project

Crime & Punishment Ex- Assembly member faces court for pocketing GHC500,000 meant for road project
FEB 27, 2024 LISTEN

Nii Armah Ashitey a former Assembly member, who was allegedly given GHC500,000 by a foundation to construct road and drainage but failed has appeared before an Accra Circuit Court.

Ashitey, a former assembly member for Adobetor electoral area in La Dadekotpon Municipality, has been charged with defrauding by false pretences, using public office for profit, money laundering.

The 63-year-old former assembly member has pleaded not guilty to the various charges.

Ashiety is said to have told the Police that he used the money for “mobilization of the project” but could not provide documents and receipts to that effect.

The court presided over by Mr Isaac Addo has admitted Ashitey to bail in the sum of GHC500,000 with two sureties.

The matter has been adjourned to April 2, 2024.

Prosecution led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Seth Frimpong said the complainants, Maxwell Ahugah and Mrs Naomi Vogel were manager and director, respectively of Robert Vogel Memorial Foundation.

ASP Frimpong said the accused person was a resident of La Wireless.

Prosecution said somewhere in the month of May 2018, Robert Vogel Foundation Memorial, a non-profit organization, engaged in philanthropic activities within the Community, decided to construct a road and drainage as part of their community development at Adobetor electoral area.

According to prosecution, the construction of the projects took place during Ashitey's tenure as an assembly member of La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly.

The prosecutor said Ashitey was approached by the Director and Manager of the Robert Vogel Memorial Foundation about their desire to construct a particular road with its attached drainage.

Prosecution said the accused person took advantage of the gesture and presented to the complainants, Bill of Quantities on a number of roads and drains that the assembly had earmarked to construct.

The court heard that Ashitey deceived the Director Mrs Naomi Vogel of the said Foundation to transfer GHC500,000 into his personal account with La Community Bank which he presented as the Municipal Assembly 's account.

Again, prosecution said the accused person “deceived the foundation manager and director into believing that the construction of the selected road and drains at Adobetor area had been done with the funds from the Foundation.

Prosecution said the accused person, however, failed to undertake the construction which he claimed he had the capacity to undertake.

The prosecutor said on April 11, 2023, Ashitey was arrested and during interrogation, he told the Police that he “used all the GHC500,000 to do mobilization of the project”.

Prosecution said during investigations, the accused person was given the opportunity to furnish the Police with receipts or documents to know how the funds were disbursed for the “mobilization but he could not provide any document or receipts.”

ASP Frimpong said the Police visited the area where the construction should have been done and it was observed that the road had not been constructed and no drainage was done.

“Investigations revealed that accused person simply made this representation which he knew were false to obtain the consent of the manager and the director of the foundation to part with the GHC500,000 and he has since misappropriated the said amount with no effort or ability to construct the road,” prosecution said.

The prosecutor said it was also established that by the accused person's status as someone who held office as elected assembly member for Adobetor electoral area, he was a public officer.