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16.06.2005 Crime & Punishment

Five before court for defrauding former DCE

GNA

Techiman (B/A), June 16, GNA - A circuit court in Techiman in Brong-Ahafo has remanded four persons for defrauding Mr James Kwabena Bomfeh, former District Chief Executive for Kintampo of two million cedis. They are Dawuda Seidu Mahama, 35, Alhaji Zebrim Saaka, 25, both research fellows at the office of the Vice-President, Prince Kaunda Bacelin, 30, a freelance journalist and Michael Madjid Adam, 28, unemployed. They pleaded not guilty to three counts of defrauding, posing as research officers and stealing and the court presided over by Mr Justice Erasmus Gyinae, a high court judge ordered them to re-appear on June 17.

Prosecuting, Police Chief Inspector Sampson Y. Jebuni told the court that on June 7, this year, the accused arrived at Kintampo and approached Mr Bomfeh and told him he would be retained as the DCE. Mr Bomfeh then offered them hotel accommodation for the night. Chief Inspector Jebuni said the next day, the accused again assured the DCE that he would definitely be re-appointed and this made Mr Bomfeh to offer them two million cedis cash as a token gift.

Prosecution said the accused after collecting the money drove in a Benz car with registration number GT 900 T to Techiman and gave the same assurance to Mr Isaac Osei-Antwi, former Municipal Chief Executive. The prosecutor said the BNI official at Kintampo, who had kept surveillance on the accused, alerted his counterpart at Techiman. Mr Osei-Antwi during interaction with the accused found their accreditation to be false so called in the police, who arrested them. A searched on them produced a large portrait of President Kufuor and Vice- President Aliu Mahama and 1.7 million cedis.

Counsel for the accused, Mr John K. Owusu-Agyeman, a Techiman-based legal practitioner, appealed to the court to grant them bail, explaining that the accused were research officers of Dr. Amoaku Tuffour, a former special assistant to the Vice-President but were still working as such for the New Patriotic Party. He said the two million cedis given to his clients was a gift from the DCE and the Benz car that the accused used belonged to an uncle of Saaka, one of the accused. Mr Justice Gyinae ordered the police to complete investigations before the adjourned date.

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