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21.10.2008 Crime & Punishment

Policemen On Trial For Extortion

The Sunyani Magistrate's Court has adjourned hearing of the case in which five policemen and a businessman allegedly extorted 550,000 CFA franc from two Ivorian traders in Techiman, to October 27, 2008.

Sergeant Peter Okanta, Corporal Martin Adjei, Lance Corporal Richard Oppong, Constables Gabriel Yaw Ansong and William Nutakor of the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Command, and Kwadwo Adjei, a Techiman-based businessman, are currently on bail.

The presiding judge, Mr Albert Zoogah, explained that the case had to be adjourned for the court to wait for the  Attorney-General's advice, which is expected to be ready by next week.

The facts of the case were that the traders, Amadu Watara and Seidu Watara, from the Northern part of La Cote d'Ivoire, came to Kaba, a border town in Ghana, to change their higher CFA franc notes into coins.

They met a middleman called Adama who told them that he knew someone who would help them to get the coins.

On June 1, 2008 Adama allegedly took them to Techiman at about 2.30p.m to meet Adjei, who promised the complainants that he could get them the coins.

Adjei took them to a house at Dwomo, a suburb in the Techiman municipality and collected CFA450,000 francs from them with the intention of changing it into coins for them.

While waiting for Adjei in the house, a taxicab with three occupants pulled up and they told the complainants that Adjei had asked them to bring them to his office.

On the way, they met Adjei, who signalled them to stop but they did not and while on the road, the five policemen who were in a police vehicle, overtook them and asked them to stop.

The policemen jumped out of their vehicle with their rifles and the complainants took to their heels, but Amadu was arrested. They searched him and collected CFA 100,000 francs from him.

Thereafter, the policemen took Amadu to the Tuobodom Police Station but returned at about 8.10 p.m. to release him from the police station and took him to Adjei. Adjei then took Amadu to Jakoline, a suburb in Techiman, and abandoned him there.

A report was made to the police which led to the arrest of the five policemen and Adjei.

Story by Samuel Duodu