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04.06.2004 Tabloid News

Victims ambush petty trader at court

By GNA

Accra, June 4, GNA - A 48-year old petty trader, Innocentia Akpene Kudoto on Friday caused a stir at an Accra Circuit Court when Security personnel, a high court bailiff and some of her exploited victims ambushed her to demand their pound of flesh.

After her first case was called and she was being escorted to prison custody her victims emerged from in and outside the court room to take custody her and to report fresh cases of defrauding them against her. Innocentia appeared before a circuit court for allegedly defrauding seven persons of 31,350 dollars with the intent of securing them United States visas and travelling documents.

She pleaded not guilty to all seven counts of defrauding by false pretences.

The court, presided over by Mrs. Elizabeth Ankomah remanded Innocentia into prison custody.

But soon after the court announced that a court bailiff from the High Court intimated to the court that he was waiting for the accused to serve her with summons from an Accra High Court. Some complainants, who had fallen victim to Innocentia were angrily waiting for her outside the courtroom and wanted her to be arrested, while Personnel of the Bureau of National Investigations were also waiting to escort her to custody.

Immediately she left the dock, two different fresh cases involving Innocentia were mentioned thereby drawing murmuring and hissing from the packed court.

The court, therefore asked the various complainants and prosecutors to adjourn their cases to June 15 so that all of them could be called on a fixed date.

The case of Police Chief Inspector Abavelim was that the complainant, Mr Aminu Yahaya, an Accountant with the Births and Death Registry in Accra was that the accused presented herself to him as an Overseas Programme Organiser.

The prosecution said between May and June last year, Innocentia approached Abeiku Arthur, Senior Development Planner at the Ministry of Local Government that she was organizing a programme overseas and she therefore, wanted interested persons who would attend.

Mr Arthur therefore, introduced Yahaya and four persons to her. Prosecution said Innocentia collected 9,700 dollars each from Mr Yahaya and Mr Ofantse Obeng; Seth Agyare and Stephen Conduah paid 2,280 and 2,050 dollars each to her but she failed to secure them their travelling documents.

During police investigations, Mr. Nella Kumah Agbelekey and Mr. Jacob Felix Ansah also reported that Innocentia had collected 2,000 and 4,620 dollars respectively from them and had failed to secure them their US visas.

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