There was drama in court yesterday when the police prosecutor disputed with the investigator who was testifying in a fraud case, and gave conflicting accounts of the findings of his investigations.
Enraged Chief Inspector Edward Afful, the prosecutor, who was cross examining Detective Corporal Robert Awuka of the Accra Central Police Station, warned he would apply to the Circuit Court to debar him because he was a hostile witness.
Robert Awuka was the investigator who arrested two Nigerians, Mark Latif Adigun and Benjamin Oluwashola, for allegedly defrauding a German of 248,000 euros.
He was alleged to have requested 3,500 euros to conduct further investigations because the Ghana Police Service lacked enough logistics to enable investigators to conduct their work with ease.
His evidence in court, was not different from the last sitting as he appeared illusive, disinterested and unprepared.
In one instance, Awuka admitted the accused confessed receiving monies from the complainant, Ms. Waltraud, a German technical engineer but denied receipts of money transfers tendered in court by the prosecution.
Chief Inspector Afful was not happy with the hostile attitude of the witness and his attempt to dribble the court, when a question demanded a yes or no answer.
He told the court that the identity of one Chris Walters and lawyer Agyemang whose names were mentioned in the case were not known.
Asked whether he investigated to establish the identities of the recipients, he responded in the negative, explaining that the Financial Intelligence Centre of the Bank of Ghana, had proved unyielding in helping the police to get to the bottom of the matter.
“My lord, we have written letters to the bank several times and made follow- ups all to no avail,” he said.
The presiding judge, however, asked him to produce copies of the letters he had written to the Bank of Ghana for which the bank failed to furnish the needed information to the investigation team.
The judge also asked him to produce the residence permit of the accused which the investigator purported to have checked, in the course of his investigations.
It was not clear whether Awuka’s assertion meant that the Bank of Ghana knew the identities of the suspects, and were shielding them.
Throughout his evidence, the police Corporal. was visibly shaking and his trembling hands could hardly hold a piece paper.
He was spotted gasping for breath, and frequently looking in the direction of the accused.
His testimony was full of contradictions, as he kept repeating statements he had earlier made.
Cpl. Awuka had absented himself from the court on three occasions when he was due to give evidence in respect of his investigations.
However, Awuka was in court at 6:45am yesterday, one and half hours before court proceedings began.
The case has been adjourned to June 7, 2015.
By Malik Sullemana