Fake lawyer refused bail again

The trial  began  yesterday of a self-styled lawyer who claimed to be the nephew of the Chief Executive Officer of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Isaac Osei, and  duped his victims of huge sums of monies.

Michael Asante, 34, also known as Yaw Antwi Boasiako alias Lawyer, who also claimed to be a friend of the Acting General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party, John Boadu, appeared before the court, on Wednesday together with one of his victims who testified in the case.

For the second time, the suspect was refused bail and would appear again on January 16, 2018.

Asante has pleaded not guilty to two counts of willfully pretending to be a lawyer and defrauding by false pretense.

It was reported by The Ghanaian Times on December 22, 2017, that, Asante was arrested by the National Security for allegedly duping his victims of over GH¢600.000, under the pretense of securing them contracts from TOR.

Adu Poku Brempong, 42, one of the victims and a principal witness of the case, who testified in court, presided over by Justice Francis Obiri said that Asante after his arrest suggested that, the police auctioned his five vehicles comprising Hundai Santafe, American Dodge, Mercedes Benz, Toyota and Ford to cover part of the debt.

But in a twist of event, police investigations revealed only three of the vehicles were in the name of Asante, and according to Brempong who contributed GH¢20, 000 out of the GH¢695,000, it became difficult for the vehicles to be sold.

During his first appearance in the court on December 20, 2017, State Attorney, Marie Loiuse Simons presented the fact of the case as that, Asante committed the offence between the months of April and October where through that period he met the complainants Alhaji Awudu Isaka and Adu Poku Brempong, all businessmen in Kumasi.

According to prosecution, Asante posed as a legal practitioner who was related to Mr. Osei and a friend of Mr. Boadu and so he was able to convince Mr. Issaka and Brempong that, he could secure TOR contracts for them through his connections with the two people in government.

Days after they met, they arranged a meeting in his supposed chambers at Top Martins in Asokwa, a suburb of Kumasi, where he explained the details of the contract to the two.

Prosecution said, Asante explained to the two businessmen that, the contracts were to construct storage tanks for TOR and it was worth GH¢12 million and that he needed GH¢695,000.00, to lobby and secured the contract for them which they mobilised the money for him.

After some period, the complainants realised Asante had duped them because he was not forthcoming with his end of the deal, and so they reported the matter to the Police in Kumasi and with the help of the National Security, Asante was arrested, and during interrogation, he admitted taking the money but he claimed he gave the money to the Procurement and Protocol officers of TOR.

Ms. Louise said, Asante was sent to TOR to identify those officers, but after police interrogations with the officers, it was found that, Asante did not give the money to them.

He was brought to the police custody in Kumasi where he was charged and processed for court for prosecution.

 

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