Ramon Osei Akoto, who announced his intention to stand as independent presidential candidate, but switched camp to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) a couple of days ago, is in the grips of the Nima police. He was arrested at his Teshie residence when two ladies lodged complaints to the Nima police accusing him of failing to honor his promise to secure them United States passports.
According to Evelyn Agyeiwaa, one of the victims, she got to know Akoto through his sister, Mollie Agyeman Duah who was working on a visa deal for her.
She said Akoto advised her to shun the sister's company because she did not have the means of assisting her in her quest to travel abroad to join her husband.
Akoto was able to convince Agyeiwaa that he could easily assist her secure all the necessary documents, due to his position as an independent presidential candidate.
She alleged that Akoto asked her to pay $5000 to cover both her travel expenses and passport.
Agyeiwaa then contacted her husband Seth Asinor in Austell in the United States to provide the money, which he obliged.
According to Agyeiwaa, she first paid $1000 to Akoto to begin with the processing of the documents sometime in July this year and later paid another ¢10million on 30th August at the University of Ghana, Legon campus where he was billed for a political debate.
By this time, the entire amount she had given to Akoto totaled ¢20million.
She further indicated that Akoto told her at a point that he would introduce her to the embassy officials as his women's organizer in order to have a smooth way through.
Agyeiwaa said she later came to realize that Akoto was trying to dupe her because the time he promised to make the documents ready had elapsed, so she informed her husband in the United States who advised her to go for the money.
She noted that when she contacted Akoto for a refund, he threatened to beat her up and take her to the media for defaming him.
She further alleged that on one of her visits to take back her money, Akoto chased her with a cutlass from his house.
The other lady, Zinabu Banda also narrated how she came into contact with Ramon Akoto.
She said, she met him at Kanda and in the course of their interaction, informed him of her desire to travel to America and he assured her of his assistance whenever she was ready.
According to her, Akoto took her to the Registrar General's Department making her pose as his wife to register their marriage in order to make her traveling easier since, according to him, he was a citizen of the United States.
She then paid ¢9 million to Akoto somewhere in March this year and another ¢10 million in April to secure her traveling documents.
Akoto promised to take her along when he was traveling to the US where he was scheduled to have a fund raising rally in some Ghanaian communities to file his nomination to contest the presidency.
She said without her knowledge, Akoto traveled and on his return, she went to his residence on August 25 to ask him how far the deal had gone, but Akoto asked her not to disturb him because he was busy with his presidential campaign.
According to her, Akoto later promised to refund her money after filing his nomination.
After the close of nomination, Zinabu said she went to Akoto to take back her money but Akoto threatened to beat her up.
This led Zinabu and Agyeiwaa to lodge complaints at the Nima police station.
When contacted, officers at the Nima police declined to talk, saying it was too early to comment. They did not allow The Chronicle to talk to the suspect.
Meanwhile, Ramon Akoto, who was arraigned before a Circuit Court in Accra yesterday, has been granted ¢40 million bail.
He pleaded not guilty to defrauding by false pretences.
The court, presided over by Mrs. Elizabeth Ankomah, adjourned hearing to December 8.
His frail-looking grandmother, who had traveled from Cape Coast with his mother, upon hearing of his arrest, said they had continuously asked him to refrain from politics but he wouldn't listen.
She lamented that, not even the advice of the Chief of Kumawu in the Ashanti region where Akoto's father hails from, could change his mind.