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26.07.2004 Crime & Punishment

NDC Candidate in court for electoral fraud

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Accra, July 26, GNA - Nii Lantey Vanderpuje, National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Candidate for Odododiodoo Constituency in the Accra Metropolis, on Monday appeared before an Accra Circuit Court with two others charged with electoral fraud.
Nii Lantey, a Broadcast Journalist with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, pleaded not guilty to abetment of crime.
His accomplices, Musah Fuseini also known as Alhaji Musah and Gariba Mohammed were also charged for registering voters without authority. The Court presided over by Mr Williwise Kyeremeh admitted them to 30 million cedis bail with a surety each to reappear on August 3. Granting them bail at the well-packed court, the Judge, said the charges levelled against the accused persons did not fall under the categories that bail should be refused adding that he was being guided by the ruling of an Accra High Court in a similar case.
The Judge noted that the offence took place in June and the accused had been granted bail by the Police.
He, therefore, cautioned the public and the media not pre-judge the case and allow him to do his work.
He said the registration exercise had ended and there was no way the accused persons could influence or tamper with the Voter's Register. Mr Okaija Adamafio, Counsel for Nii Lantey earlier denied the charges levelled against his client and, therefore, asked the Court to admit him to bail.
He said his client had a fixed place of abode and would not interfere with Police investigations.
Prosecuting, Mr Augustines Obuor, an Assistant State Attorney, said Fuseini was a friend to Nii Lantey.
Mr Obuor said a day before the end of the photo-taking exercise Nii Lantey instructed Fuseini to recruit some people to do photo-registration for him.
The Prosecutor said Fuseini recruited Mohammed and five other boys who are now large and sent them to his residence.
The Prosecution said Fuseini led the boys to the residence of Nii Lantey at H/No 583/3 in North Swalaba.
Mr Obuor also said Nii Lantey told the boys he wanted them to help him in the photo exercise and gave them registration slips thumb printed with different names.
Fuseni later sent the slips away but some of the recruited boys protested.
Prosecution said other recruited boys, however, went to the Korlewokor polling station and took their photographs and returned to Nii Lantey's residence.
Nii Lantey in his appreciation offered them 100,000 cedis. Prosecution said two of the boys disclosed this to the Member of Parliament for Odododiodoo Constituency and he also reported the matter to the Police.

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