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29.09.2003 Tabloid News

Bawku court jails Nigerian over soothsayer

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Bawku (U/E), Sept 29, GNA- A 60-year-old Nigerian soothsayer who took 101 million cedis from a teacher on the pretext of securing an American visa for him, has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment by a Bawku circuit court.

Alhaji Musah Issaka, who is also a herbalist at Ashaiman, is alleged to have also provided spiritual fortification for the teacher, Haruna Osman Karim.

He pleaded not guilty to defrauding by false pretences. The Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Paul Eklu, said on June 30, the accused was introduced to Karim as a "connection man" for visa acquisition at Bawku.

He said both Issaka and Karim entered into an agreement where the accused collected 24 million cedis and Karim's passport with the promise of securing a visa within one week.

ASP Eklu said two days later Issaka invited Karim to come to Accra with 60 million cedis that was to be lodged in a bank in the US as a collateral guarantee.

He said Karim consulted a friend at Accra who gave him the 60 million cedis from his brother's housing project with the hope that Karim will refund it as soon as he landed in the US.

ASP Eklu said two days later Issaka came to Bawku to inform Karim that he has finished everything but he needed an additional 17 million cedis to buy tickets for the journey. Karim raised the money by selling his taxicab.

He said after collecting the money Issaka became escaped until Karim was able to trace him at his hideout at Ashaiman where he promised to refund the money.

Karim reported the matter to the Bawku police when he failed to make the refund.

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