The Presidency has cautioned members of the public to be vigilant and report fraudsters, who impersonate officials working at the seat of government.
According to Dr. Clement Apaak, a Presidential Staffer, the President was not happy about the increasing cases of impersonation of key officials at the Presidency, and wanted the public to help in exposing such criminals.
Currently, a number of cases in which imposters have impersonated key presidential staffers and duped unsuspecting people, including public and private officials, are being investigated.
Last week, an imposter was sentenced to 10 days in prison for impersonating Dr. Apaak, and attempting to defraud the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander of GH¢5,000 with the pretext of facilitating his promotion from Deputy Commissioner of Police to Commissioner of Police.
Last July, a 34-year-old unemployed man, Mohammed Ussif Kantoosi, was sentenced by an Accra Circuit Court to 15 years imprisonment, for impersonating Dr Raymond Atuguba, the then Executive Secretary to the President, and defrauding a businesswoman of goods worth GH¢58,000, and the Chief
Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Leslie Kojo Christian, of GH¢14,000.
Also, in June last year, six Nigerians were arrested for posing as officials of the Flagstaff House, and forging letterheads of the Office of the President and other state institutions to defraud people.
Another imposter was early this year, prosecuted for impersonating the then Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, to extort moneys and demand contracts from Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives.
Dr. Apaak, who is also Spokesman for the Presidential Special Operations Unit, said such crimes could be checked through vigilance, adding, “if someone calls you claiming to be someone at the presidency or acting on the instructions of that person, all you need to do is to cross-check”.
He believed that activities of such imposters, w have fuelled the perception that officials at the Flagstaff House were corrupt.
Dr. Apaak said such practices should serve as evidence for critics and the public at large that there were several instances where government officials were impersonated for mischief.
He, therefore, called for the co-operation of the public in apprehending such imposters, and provided the following number: 0302201404 for complainants to call to report suspecting characters.
Touching on the 10-day sentencing of the impersonator, who attempted to defraud the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander, Dr. Apaak expressed disappointment at the sentence, saying it was not punitive enough.
“This kind of punishment has no detrimental effect,” he said, adding that such punishment did not help in sanitizing the system.
By Edmund Mingle