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30.10.2008 Crime & Punishment

Aspiring NDC MP jailed - For electoral fraud

By The Statesman

The Offinso Circuit Court yesterday sentenced Pius Poku Boateng, NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Kwabre West Constituency of Ashanti, to 12 months' imprisonment with hard labour for double registration.

Boateng, a teacher, who was arrested on Monday following a report by Emmanuel Addai, Kwabre District Electoral Officer, pleaded guilty and was convicted on his plea.

The Court, presided over by Justice Osei Kwame, said the sentence would serve as a deterrent to other people, who plan to indulge in electoral malpractices.

Prosecuting, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Essah Boanu, Offinso District Police Commander, said the police had a report that Boateng, who was contesting the Kwabre West Constituency seat on the ticket of the NDC, had done double registration.

Based on the report, he was arrested and upon investigation it was detected that he had registered at the Roman Catholic Primary School Polling Station in Nkukua-Buoho in the Kwabre West Constituency and had also registered at the Patase Chief"s Palace Polling Station in the Afigya-Sekyere West Constituency with the same pictures and names.

But while he gave his age as 55 at Nkukua-Buoho, he said he was 54 years old at Patase, near Nkwantakese.

Meanwhile, the fate of Seth Otchere, NDC Parliamentary Candidate for the Lower West Akyem Constituency, hangs in the balance following an action filed at the Asamankese Circuit Court against his eligibility by three former executive members of the party.

The three members, George Yamoah, Nana Kantanka, and Juliana Tetteh were among 18 executive members who quit their executive positions recently.

Their action followed the decision of the party to disqualify Martin Bruce Opare, a parliamentary aspirant from contesting the constituency primary and to make Mr Otchere the sole candidate.

He (Otchere) was subsequently acclaimed as the party's candidate at a congress of the party.

The three then filed the action seeking the court's declaration that the purported declaration of Mr Otchere as sole candidate did not comply with the party's constitution.

When the case was called at the court, counsel for the plaintiff, Mr Asare Bediako, announced that counsel for the respondents was indisposed and was asking for adjournment.

The Judge, Emmanuel Siame, adjourned the case to November 11.

Meanwhile, Mr Otchere, 42, a Technical Engineer, has filed his papers with the West Akyem Municipal Electoral Commission as candidate for the NDC in a field of six other contestants.

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