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29.12.2005 General News

Ghanaian To Testify Against Amoateng

By Daily Guide
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There are strong indications that the prosecution in the Hon Eric Amoateng's trial in a United States Court, may use a Ghanaian, a certain Gameli, as witness to testify against the Nkoranza North MP and his alleged accomplice, Nii Okai Adjei in the heroine case. Hon Amoateng and Nii Okai are facing one count charge of conspiracy to transport and distribute heroine, with a street value of over $6 million to the United States, contrary to Federal Law, at a New York District Court, Brooklyn, New York.

Both accused pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned before a District Magistrate, Robert M. Levy, on Monday, December 12, 2005. One of the lawyers for Hon Amoateng, Mr Dennis Adjei-Brenya, has expressed concern that, A Ghanaian, named Gameli, would be used against his client.

According to Mr Adjei-Brenya, he does not understand why Gameli, whose name was used to rent the storage facility at Staten Island, a New York borough, where the alleged heroine, concealed in ceramics were kept, was not charged along with the two accused persons.

This, he said, indicates that, the prosecution was up to play a fast one on his client, and the other accused. The phenomenon of using an alleged accomplice to testify against his colleagues, he said, was not unusual in US courts, and he suspects strongly that, Gameli may do the job for the prosecution.

Daily Guide enquiries revealed that, Gameli, who is married to an American, had been interrogated by FBI and ICE officials, in connection with the case. Close sources indicate that, when FBI agents visited his Staten Island residence, in the wake of the arrest, in November, he was said, to have travelled to Boston, and they followed him up to the place. Gameli is a childhood friend of Nii Okai Adjei, and both attended Akwamuman Secondary School in Akosombo before travelling abroad.

Attempts by Daily Guide to speak to him were unsuccessful, even though he had initially, sent a message of his readiness to talk to them. Nii Okai Adjei, on the other hand, was resident in Canada, where he is married to a Canadian. He was said to have bought an imposing, large house in Canada from money claimed from his insurance firm, when he had a terrible motor accident, which nearly claimed his life.

However, at the time the tall and lanky Nungua-born Ghanaian embarked on the trip to New York, to claim the pottery containing the alleged heroin, consigned in his name, he was holidaying in Ghana. According to Hon Amoateng, he knew Nii Okai Adjei from Nungua, when he was a teacher, over a decade ago, but lost touch with him, after maintaining the links with him.

However, during his trip to New York, where he met his waterloo, the Nkoranza North MP said, he met Nii Okai, known in Nungua as Rasta, aboard a New York-bound Emirates Airliner. He said, on their arrival in New York, on November 11, 2005, both of them put up at the Grad Union Hotel, Manhattan, where Hon Amoateng said, he had made a prior reservation, on his purely-commercial trip, to purchase wrist watches for re-sale in Ghana, on behalf of one of his wives.

According to Mr Amoateng Nii Okai Adjei introduced Gameli to him, and later accompanied them to JKF Airport, to claim a cargo, consigned to Nii Okai, to the storage house at Staten Island. But on Saturday, November 12, when Hon Amoateng and Nii Okai were arrested at the storage house, Gameli was not with them. The driver of the rented van which the accused used was also released after a brief interrogation thus beating the imagination of Mr Adjei-Brenya.

The prosecution had handed over a videotape, allegedly contained the bit by bit account of what took place, before and after the arrest of the MP and his friend. Mr Adjei-Brenya was silent on the content of the videotape. The accused persons would re-appear in a Federal District Court on January 23, 2006, before Judge David Trager. Nii Okai is being represented by D. Loftis, a state-appointed lawyer, while Amoateng's lawyers include John Patten, a New York-based criminal lawyer.

Mr Patten told Daily Guide that, his client was innocent. “We strongly believe in the innocence of our client”, he indicated. The accused persons are being held at the Metropolitan Detention Centre, Brooklyn, New York.

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