The case in which two Nigerian fraudsters allegedly swindled a German technical engineer of 248,557.91 euros under the pretext of supplying her with gold, has been adjourned 102 times between September 2013 and 2016.
In 2016 alone, the case was adjourned sixteen times, as the police keep asking for time to produce the second witness.
Last week, Thursday, the police was expected to invite the second prosecution witness, who was in court at 8:45am, but the case had to be adjourned again because the new prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent Yirenkyi, was invited to the police Headquarters.
Ms. Waltraud Wiesent, the victim was allegedly defrauded by Mark Latif Adijum, also known as Mark Adjei, and Benjamin Taofeek Oluwashola, also known as Benjamin K. Osei, who told her that they had secured a $2.5 million contract with the Government of Ghana to supply auto parts to six regions.
From 2013 up till the latter part of 2015, Ms. Wiesent was led in evidence by three prosecutors and about the same number of investigators, each time the witness travelled from Germany to Ghana.
In 2014, Assistant Commissioner of Police Moses Atibillah led her in evidence for the third time after, Chief Inspector Edward Afful and Detective Corporal Robert Awuku were asked to step aside, following a misunderstanding between the two in open court in which the former threatened to examine the latter as a hostile witness.
Latif and Oluwashola were freed of the charges, rearrested and fresh charges preferred against.
The two, currently on bail, were asked to complete the cross examination of the victim in October 2015, after their lawyer failed to turn up in court .
The circuit court presided by Mrs. Afia Agbenu Kumador discharged Ms. Waltraud who left for Germany.
Counsel for the accused, filed an application to recall the witness, but same was refused by the Presiding Judge.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, the accused went to the High Court Criminal and General Jurisdiction Division to stop proceedings at the circuit court, but the application was refused by Emmanuel Amo Yartey, the Presiding Judge on grounds that granting the application “would obviously retard the progress of the trial”.
“There is evidence before me that the applicants were given three different dates to cross the witness but they failed to do so. Secondly, the witness in issue has now left for Germany where she resides. I, therefore, hold that granting the application would obviously retard the progress of the trial. The application for stay is therefore refused,” he stated.
Also opposing the application for stay of proceedings was Fred Awindago, a State Attorney, who argued that the appeal was a calculated attempt to delay and frustrate the trial.
Mr. Awindao reminded the court that trial had taken place three times, and in each instance, the victim had to travel from Germany to Ghana.
The court heard that Latif and Oluwashola were said to have defrauded Ms. Wiesent of 248,557.91 euros out of a total of 375,000 euros they requested.
The victim transferred the money into different accounts at Guarantee Trust Bank and Ecobank.
The first accused, Latif, who paraded as Christopher Walters of Nottingham, UK and does his business in Ghana, told Ms. Wiesent that he secured a contract with the Government of Ghana worth 2.5 million dollars to supply auto parts to six regions.
The alleged contract, which had Ghana’s Coat of Arms and signatures of the officials from the ministries of transport and finance was tendered in court.
By Malik Sullemana