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04.03.2005 Crime & Punishment

Electoral staff's theft case adjourned

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Koforidua, Mar. 4, GNA - The case in which two staff of the Electoral Commission (EC) in the Eastern Region were standing trial at a Koforidua High Court charged with two counts of conspiracy to steal and stealing over two million cedis took a dramatic turn on Friday.

When the case was called, a Chief State Attorney, Mr Anthony Gyambiby, told the court that the prosecution was asking for permission to amend the charge sheet to that of negligently causing loss to the state under the Public Property Protection Decree 1977 (SMCD 140). The court, presided over by Mr Justice Tom Bentil granted the request and adjourned further hearing of the case to April 5. The court asked the police to take the necessary steps to effect the change on the charge sheet before the next hearing date. The two EC staff involved, Daniel Kankam, Kwahu South District Electoral Officer and Joseph Yeboah, Eastern Regional Chief Driver of the EC who pleaded not guilty were on bail.

The prosecution had earlier told the court that, on December 17, last year, after a meeting of District Electoral Officers at Koforidua, they were each given the allowances of the polling staff of the December 7 general elections to go and pay them.

It said, before the cheques were given to the officers to cash in Koforidua, the driver, who accompanied Kankam from the Mpraeso office, Mr Aikins Ayimadu was suddenly taken ill so he had to take the lead back home.

When the time came for Kankam to leave, he sought for a driver and Yeboah volunteered to drive him back.

The prosecution told the court that on their way to Mpraseo with a female staff of the Commission, Kankam asked for a detour to Oyoko, his home town, to enable him deposit a gas cylinder and take a bed. When he reached a restaurant near Kukurantumi, Kankam again complained of hunger and asked that they should stop over for refreshment and the three of them got inside leaving the pick-up vehicle packed in front of the bar.

After the meals, Yoboah came out first and when the two others joined him and they were about to set off, they discovered that one of the front doors was broken into and the amount of 211,060,000 million cedis was pulled out of the bag containing the amount which had been tampered with.

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