12.10.2004 Crime & Punishment

Electoral Officer jailed six months for electoral malpractice

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Accra, Oct. 12 GNA - An Electoral Officer, Stanley Nii Armah, who pleaded guilty to electoral malpractice, was on Tuesday sentenced to six months' imprisonment with hard labour by an Accra Circuit Court. Nii Armah, who was standing trial with Alhaji Saeed Sinare, Former National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ayawaso Central, was charged with forgery and conspiracy to cause fraud. He pleaded not guilty for conspiring with Sinare to allegedly make 26 illegal entries into the Voters' Register.

Nii Armah later changed his plea of not guilty to guilty but Sinare has maintained his earlier plea of not guilty.

The Court in its sentence said Nii Armah being a student should have been circumspect in his conduct. It said Nii Armah deserved to be punished severely to serve as a deterrent to others, but being young and a student, it was proper that the Court in sentencing him did not jeopardize his education.

Sinare would appear again on October 15.

The case of Prosecution was that at about 0500 hours on March 22, Mr Kwame Bediako, a Computer Technician and Zonal Co-ordinator of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), acting upon a tip off, laid ambush at Accra Newtown "5" and Accra Newtown "12" Registration Centres from where he saw Nii Armah writing names in the Voters' Register.

It said when Mr Bediako challenged Nii Armah, he mentioned Sinare as the one who instructed him to make the fictitious entries. The Prosecution said he entered 26 names mainly Muslim names with fake house numbers.

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