After 16 months of investigations, personnel of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service at the CID Headquarters, Accra, are in a quandary as to what charge to prefer against a car dealer, Victor Asisiah, for allegedly attempting to defraud an Accra-based pastor.
Instead of charging the suspect with fraud, the investigator, Detective Sergeant Emmanuel Yewonyo at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters, Accra, rather charged him (Mr. Asisiah) with “Abetment of Crime”.
The prosecutor, Deputy Superintendent Abraham Annor, has queried the charge, because “abetment” means there should be a main culprit, for the accused to be abetting with.
The suspect (Mr. Asisiah) collected GH¢7,000 as part-payment from Rev. Stephen Apau, under the pretext of selling him a BMW ML but the pastor suspected something fishy in the transaction and reported him (Asisiah) to the Adentan Police who effected his arrest and also impounded the car.
The vehicle has been parked at the Adentan Police Station since April 24, 2014, without any sign of prosecuting the culprit.
Ironically, the suspect who is being investigated for fraud has turned round to sue the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), the Attorney-General, Reverend Apau (complainant) and the Adentan Police Commander at the time, Supt. Ahiafafu, at the Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court for “trampling on his rights and also dispossessing him of his BMW Benz car.”
He is asking the court to order the police to release the Mercedes Benz ML which is at the centre of the fraudulent dealing, and still parked at the Adentan Police Station, to him.
Mr. Asisiah per his lawsuit is also demanding a reasonable compensation from the police, the Attorney-General and Rev. Apau (complainant).
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Abraham Annor, who was given a docket on the fraud case by the investigator, Mr. Yewonyo at the Cocoa Affairs Court on February 2, 2014 for prosecution, said he could not see his way clear regarding the charge of “abetment of crime” preferred against Victor Asisiah after he (prosecutor) had heard Rev. Apau (victim) and the suspect, the parties involved in the case, at a short meeting convened by the investigator at the court premises.
“Who then is the principal suspect if the person who physically collected the GH¢7,000 from me is charged with the abetment of crime?,” Rev. Apau asked at the meeting.
Considering the charge of abetment of crime against the suspect to be “inappropriate”, DSP Annor said he would refer the docket to the A-G’s Department for advice for the appropriate charge to be preferred against Mr. Asisiah and asked the parties to come back to the court on Monday, February 9, 2015, by which time the AG would have advised on the case.
But when the parties went back to the prosecutor on the given date to hear the A-G’s advice on the matter, DSP Annor told them that his boss had called for the docket back to the CID Headquarters, and nothing had since been heard of the case until this reporter approached DSP Annor last week at the Cocoa Affairs Court for the latest development on the case.
He then told this reporter that the docket had been brought back to him but he still could not get his way clear with regard to the recommendations and that he was taking it (docket) back to the CID Headquarters.
What heightened the suspicion of Rev. Apau leading to the arrest of Victor Asisiah was that a woman called him (pastor) on phone and gave her name as Janet Kwateng living in the United States of America (USA) asking him to pray for her because she was facing some challenges in her life.
According to the pastor, the same woman called him about a month later and said that there had been a break-through in her life and that as a sign of appreciation she would send Mr. Asisiah, who ran errands for her anytime she came to Ghana, a car to him to buy for use for his church activities.
The pastor said he rejected the offer but the woman persisted and that compelled him to borrow some money from the church coffers upon consultation with the church members to pay for the car.
Rev. Apau said the suspect who had his (pastor’s) number from the said Janet Kwateng, called him the on cell phone and asked for directions to his house but he refused and instead sent some young men living with him to meet Mr. Asisiah at the Mallam Junction, a suburb of Accra.
He said when the car was brought, the suspect called the woman and she talked with him (pastor) on phone, after which Mr. Asisiah led him to the Madina Branch of Bank of Africa, to pay the GH¢7,000 into an account.
Rev. Apau said when he demanded for the documents covering the car, the suspect produced a document bearing Lucy Kwateng not Janet Kwateng as the woman had made him to believe.
He said when he challenged him, Mr. Asisiah told him that “Lucy Kwateng” was the code-name he used to clear the car from the Tema Harbour, and pleaded with Rev. Apau to allow him drive the car home and bring it back the following day.
It then dawned on the pastor that, Asisiah was a fraudster, and reported him to the Adentan Police for his arrest.
With the Adentan Police was dilly-dallying with the case, Rev. Apau said he petitioned the Director-General of CID who called for the docket to the headquarters for investigation, which has not yielded any positive results, since April 24, 2014.
By Castro Zangina-Tong