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30.06.2004 Gossips

Sulemana Jeremiah Extortion Affair that won’t go away

By Palaver
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... As Mariama Tula becomes Mercy Amoako!

The bungling NPP intelligence agencies have found themselves in another fine intelligence mess as they sought to turn Ms. Mariama Tula into Ms. Mercy Amoako in order to get the daughter of the UP bomb thrower off their back.

The botched name switch, which also involved an identity switch, was masterminded by Ghana's three intelligence capos - Francis Poku, the National Security Adviser, J. B. Amofah, the BNI Director, and David Apeatu, the Director of the CID.

Mariama Tula has become an albatross around the neck of the intelligence agencies. Remember her? She is the daughter of Mallam Mama Tula, the hard-core, dyed-in-the-wool UP member (the UP is the predecessor Party of the NPP in the First Republic under Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah) who was recruited by Obetsebi-Lamptey, father of the NPP's Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, in the 1960s to throw bombs at President Nkrumah and at CPP rallies.

His arrest with a “live” hand grenade at a CPP rally led to the famous Treason Trial of 'The State v. Teiko Tagoe, Joseph Quaye-Mensah, Joseph Adotei-Addo, Mallam Mama Tula, Anum Yemoh, Sulemana Jeremiah and Madam Asaaba Quarcoe.

Mariama Tula became famous (or is it notorious) some time two years ago when she alleged that she had been defrauded of US$2,500 by Sulemana Jeremiah, the sixth accused in the Treason Trial of the 1960s who, since the NPP came into power, has been employed in the Greater Accra Office of the NADMO to replace perceived NDC sympathisers who were dismissed.

According to Ms. Mariama Tula at the time, Sulemana Jeremiah, playing on the treasonable friendship between her late father and himself, convinced her to part with an amount of US$2,500 with the promise of adding her name to Vice President Aliu Mahama's delegation to the USA in order to enable her get a USA visa.

She had paid the money but Sulemana Jeremiah had not delivered on his promise. In her desperation, she had approached almost every person who mattered in the top leadership of the NPP Government, but none could retrieve her money for her. She mentioned in particular National Security Adviser Francis Poku, BNI Director J. B. Amofah and Director of CID David Apeatu, all of whom at one time or the other got involved in the case.

She also mentioned Sheikh Ibrahim C. Quaye, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, officials from the Vice President's Office and even the National Chief Imam Sheikh Shaributu, all as persons who tried unsuccessfully to retrieve her money for her but were rebuffed by Sulemana Jeremiah.

In her desperation, she went to see Kwesi Pratt Jnr of the 'Insight' newspaper, granted an interview to 'Radio Gold', and obliged the 'Ghana Palaver' with a full-page feature interview.

All this time, the intelligence capos must have been watching and waiting for the dust to settle and for the media interest in the story to die down. And when they thought the time was right, they made their move.

They invited Ms, Mariama Tula and offered to sort out the problem once and for all. They would give her a new name, a fictitious address and a fraudulent employer and work experience with which they would have her issued with a brand new but false passport. With this, they assured her, she would be able to obtain a visa to go to any part of the world she desired. This way, they thought they would bring the nightmare of the intelligence agencies to an end.

According to her Mariama, at a meeting she attended with the 3 intelligence capos, her name was changed to Mercy Amoako, born on 14th June 1962 in Accra.

Her non-existent father's name was given as Daniel Amoako, and her mother's name as Grace Amond.

For address, “H/No. 5 Ebenezer Road, Dansoman Estate” was manufactured for her, complete with a home telephone number 322505.

She was described as working at the “Office of the President, Castle Annex, Osu, Accra”, with telephone number 680022.

Mercy Amoako, alias Mariama Tula, was also given a “fake” husband, Michael Oduro, fictitiously born on 7th July 1958, in Accra, and made to have one fictitious child by name Bernice Oduro, born on 15th January 1989, in Accra.

With these fake particulars, Mercy Amoako, alias Mariama Tula, secured a Ghanaian passport No. H1302222 dated 9th January 2004 to expire on 8th January 2014.

Confident, “Mercy Amoako” approached the British High Commission with an application for a six weeks' visa to visit the UK. She described herself as a Secretary with the Office of the President at the Castle Annex who was proceeding on an official assignment and gave her London address as “Ghana High Commission, 104 Highgate Hill, London N6 5HE”, travelling with US$2,000 with the Ghana Government as her sponsor for the trip.

But there was one snag. As is the case with all such elaborate intelligence schemes, it is the small things that are ignored that expose the scams. In this case, Ghana's 3 topmost intelligence capos forgot to brief the Castle staff about the scam they had hatched. So when the British High Commission called the Office of the President to routinely confirm that a “Mercy Amoako” worked there, he was stunned to learn that there was no such member of staff. It did not end there, the Castle official entreated the Consular Officer to “arrest the impostor” when she turned up.

And arrest her, they did. It took the combined intervention, again of the 3 intelligence capos, to have “Mercy Amoako”, alias Mariama Tula, released. But after that, the 3 officials would not touch Mariama, alias Mercy, with a long pole. According to them, they had done what they could to try to help her.

So for the second time in two years, Mariama Tula is angry, very angry. She is now convinced that the NPP hierarchy is not really desirous of helping her, and that her father the bomb thrower had sacrificed his life in vain for the UP/NPP tradition.

Mariama is also concerned that the topmost hierarchy of the country's intelligence services could conspire and condone with her in such criminal activity and then abandon her to her fate when it mattered most.

According to Mariama Tula, she has now given up completely on life. She is only praying that Sulemana Jeremiah will return her US$2,500 to her so that she can attempt to rebuild her life.

Due to lack of space, we will be Publishing the fake visa application form in our next issue

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