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02.03.2006 Crime & Punishment

Court orders police to investigate whether accused voted in 2004


Mamponteng (Ash), March 2, GNA - The Mamponteng magistrate court on Wednesday ordered the police to verify whether a 17-year-old unemployed, Collins Baah who has been put before the court for stealing, voted in the 2004 presidential and parliamentary elections. The order followed an allegation by the grandfather of Baah that he had falsified his age in order to get a minimum punishment. Baah, who is charged with stealing his grandfather's mobile phone and cash at Apaah in the Afigya-Sekyere district, has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The accused insists that he is 17 years old but his grandfather Mr Baah Yeboah vehemently disputes this and says the accused is 21 years old and even voted in the last general elections. This prompted the court, presided over by Mr Uuter P. Dery to ask the police to verify from the Sekyere West district office of the Electoral Commission (EC) at Mampong to ascertain the truth or otherwise of the claim of Baah's grandfather.

The accused was, therefore, remanded in police custody to re-appear on March 10, this year.

Police Inspector Solomon Etrew told the court that the accused lives with his grandfather, the complainant at Apaah near Jamasi and that last Sunday, Baah sneaked into his grandfather's room, stole his mobile phone and cash of 1.5 million cedis and bolted. He said the accused was arrested the following day at his hideout and in his statement to the police he alleged that he was 17 years old.