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Ambulance saga: Ayariga, six others acquitted and discharged

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MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga

The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central and six others who are standing trial for corruption-related offence in the purchase of an ambulance bus have been acquitted and discharged.

This was after the court had upheld their respective submission of no case after they were asked to open their defence.

The accused persons were Hawa Ninchema, Sumaila Ewuntomah Abudu, Alex Avade, Alhaji Abdul-Mumuni Jesewunde, Mary-Stella Adapesa, Mumuni Yakubu Nambe and Mahama Ayariga.

The Financial and Tax Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare Botwe upheld their submission of no case after the state had called two witnesses to prove its case.

Background

Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu in 2019 filed the charges against National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga.

The new charges filed at an Accra High Court accused the NDC MP of using his public office for his personal gains in importing vehicles into the country illegally.

Mr. Ayariga, who was dragged before the court was facing a total of five charges of using public office for private benefit and profit.

He is alleged to have fraudulently evaded customs duties and taxes on the importation of the vehicles into the country.

The MP is also being accused of abusing his office as an MP by selling three Toyota V8 Land Cruisers meant to be used by him for his official duties to Kenderick Akwasi Marfo of Atlas-Rent-A-Car at the price of $40,000 each. He has been charged alongside the MP.

According to the Special Prosecutor, Mr. Marfo stands accused for “Acting in collaboration with a public officer for the public officer’s benefit.”

Earlier Plea

Mr. Ayariga has already pleaded not guilty to using public office for private gain and was granted a self-recognizance bail of GH¢100,000 by the court presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe.

This was after the court dismissed an application challenging the qualification and capacity of Mr. Amidu as the Special Prosecutor.

The judge in her ruling also dismissed charges relating to evasion of taxes saying they did not state any specific act of corruption or corruption-related issues hence do not fall within the mandate of the Special Prosecutor but retained the charge of using public office for private gain.

Mr. Marfo who was charged along with Mr. Ayariga in connection with the V8 cars was discharged since the charge against him was struck out by the court.

Source: Starr FM

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VIDEO: How police saved lives, GH¢550K in Accra-Winneba Road bullion van heist

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A bullet penetrated the window of the front passenger seat of the bullion van

• The robbers of the Accra-Winneba road bullion van attack would have made away with a whopping GH¢550,000

• The robbers failed to get the car to stop despite the multiple gunfires

• The money was being transported from the Ordokor Zenith Bank Branch to its Winneba branch

It has been revealed that the gunmen who attacked a bullion van travelling from Odorkor towards Winneba on Thursday, June 17, 2021, would have made away with a whopping GH¢550,000 had they been successful in the heist.

In an interview sighted by GhanaWeb, DSP Osei Fofie who is the Gomoa Dominase District Police Commander disclosed that the GH¢550,000 which was being transported in the bullion van with registration number GN-6956-17 belonged to Zenith Bank.

According to the Police Commander, the van which was transporting the said money to Winneba upon reaching between Potsin and Okyereko was attacked by the armed gang of robbers who unleashed gunshots on the van.

According to reports, the vehicle had three persons on board including a police officer, Sgt. Frank Agyemang; Alfred Aidoo, the driver and Martinson Odei Gyebi, a staff of the bank.

The 3 people were able to manoeuvre through the gunshots when the gunmen opened fire on the vehicle.

Whiles the vehicle was under intense gunfire, the Police officer placed an SOS call following which a nearby patrol team was dispatched to the area.

The robbers, having missed their booty, fled into a nearby bush before the arrival of the police team.

“The Police in Winneba escorted the bullion van back to Odorkor branch of Zenith bank so all passengers escaped unhurt and the money in the van remained intact,” the DSP said.

Photos of the attacked bullion van sighted by GhanaWeb shows the vehicle took multiple hits during the attack, including one that penetrated the window of the front passenger seat even though its occupants escaped unhurt.

This failed bullion van robbery attack comes just three days after a similar one staged at Adedenkpo, a suburb of Jamestown in Accra left two persons dead.

The robbers in the Adedenkpo heist successfully made away with an undisclosed cash sum after their attack which left behind three casualties.

While the driver of the bullion van was left with injuries in the attack, General Constable Emmanuel Osei – the police officer who was on escort duty in the van and one Madam Grace Afua Amankwa – a trader in the neighborhood died from gunshots.

Two bank tellers in the car however survived the attack unharmed, albeit traumatized.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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Captain Smart slams IGP, Sheila Buckman over armored bullion van directive

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Broadcast journalist Godsbrain Captain Smart

• The IGP has directed all banks to get armored bullion vans by the end of June

• He says any bank who fails to adhere to the directive will not have police escort

• Captain Smart has questioned why the IGP is acting now

Broadcast journalist Godsbrain Captain Smart has questioned the commitment of Inspector General of Police, James Oppong-Boanuh to protecting the lives of police officers in the country.

Captain Smart on his Onua TV show poured scorn on the IGP’s directive to financial institutions in the country to purchase armored bullion vans by July 1 else he will withdraw polive escorts for the vans.

After playing a video of the police statement on the directive as read by the Superintendent Sheila Buckman, the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Police Service, Captain Smart indicated disapproval for the contents.

Examining the posture of Sheila Buckman, Captain Smart posited that the constant rolling of her eyes indicated that she did not believe in the statement which had been ordered by the IGP.

Taking on the IGP, Captain Smart listed instances where police personnel on bullion vans have been attacked in the last three years and questioned why the IGP did not take any drastic action.

He averred that latest order to the banks was a knee-jerk reaction to the issue of safety of police officers.

“Tweaa, stop saying that. Sheila should stop saying that. What she is saying is not true. Her facial expression even betrays her. If someone is speaking to you and she has little belief in what she is saying, the visual cultures pan like camera. We are not kids in the country.

“Police officers are not people you can joke with. It is not Sheila, she is just a messenger. Ask the IGP if a police officer was not killed in another bullion van incident. The same thing happened in 2019 and 2020 so if he valued human lives why would he wait till now to issue an ultimatum to banks to purchase armored bullion vans. It’s a lie.

“A policeman was shot in a bullion van and nothing was done. How many meetings will the IGP do when the men working under him are being killed like rats. Within six months there have been six attacks on bullion vans. Are you not scared? You are waiting for June ending,” he said.

Captain Smart’s comment comes on the back of a statement by the police that effective July 1, police officers will offer escort service to only fortified armored bullion vans.

“The IGP is also reminding the Association of Bankers to provide fortified armoured vehicles for carting currencies by the close of June 2021 as earlier agreed between them and the Police Service, else the Police will withdraw its officers from escort duties.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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Police officer found dead in his bathroom

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The late Sergeant Kwame Baidoo

• Sergeant Kwame Baidoo was stationed at the Suntreso District Police Headquarters

• He was found lying unconscious in his bathroom by his wife

• The deceased was declared dead on arrival at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital

A Police Sergeant with the Suntreso District Police Headquarters, Kwame Baidoo has reportedly been found dead in his bathroom.

The officer according to a Daily Guide Report sighted by GhanaWeb was found lying unconscious in the bathroom by his wife, Sergeant Agnes Konadu who drew the attention of other officers for help.

The deceased was rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital for medical attention but was pronounced dead on arrival.

A police statement detailing the death of the officer reports that Sargeant Agnes Konadu upon her return from night duty on Monday, June 14, 2021, around 6:30 am found her husband lying unconscious in the bathroom.

The widow is said to have rushed to the Adankwame police station to lodge a complaint.

“Detectives from Adankwame Police Station visited the house, rushed Sergeant Baidoo to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

“The body was inspected and deposited at the same hospital morgue for preservation and autopsy”, the police report said.

An autopsy report on the deceased officer is yet to be made available.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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