The trial of the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng, who was arrested by security officials in connection with alleged fraudulent acquisition of passport, has been adjourned at the instance of the prosecution.
This was after the prosecutor, DSP Aidan Dery, had told the Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Vivian Ellen Amoah that the police needed at least three weeks to conclude investigations.
He consequently prayed the court to adjourn the case to enable the police to conclude investigations.
Charles Puozuing, counsel for the accused person, told the court that the prosecution asked for time at the last hearing and was still asking for time; and so he suggested that at next hearing if the prosecution was not ready his client should be let off the hook.
The trial judge said since the accused person was on bail, she would adjourn the case to enable the prosecution to conclude investigations.
The case has been adjourned to September 11, 2014.
Amoateng, a teacher and farmer, had spent over seven years in the United States of America (USA) prison where he was jailed in connection with heroin-related offences.
He has pleaded not guilty to possessing forged passport which had the number of a passport issued to a lady called Barbara, and he denied any wrongdoing in a court presided over by Ellen Vivian Amoah.
The passport Amoateng used in flying back to Ghana was originally issued to a lady called Barbara Inkoom with passport No. H2347080. It was issued in Accra on February 23, 2009, according to sources, at a time the former MP was still in US prison.
The suspect was granted bail in the sum of GH¢200,000 with three sureties, one to be justified.
According to the fact sheet, on December 11, 2005, the accused person was arrested and tried in connection with some heroine business and sentenced to ten years in the US.
On August 7, 2014 the suspect returned to Ghana on board Delta Airlines, using passport number H22347080.
The prosecutor said investigations revealed that the passport was issued to a certain lady called Barbara in 2009 at the time Amoateng was in prison and had the passport’s bio-data tampered with, adding that it was therefore a forged one.
Meanwhile, the immediate Director of Passport, Odoi Anim, has stated that Eric Amoateng’s fake Ghanaian passport was issued by Ghana’s Mission in Washington DC.
He told Joy FM, that Amoateng’s passport was issued in 2009 and in that year, ‘I was not in Ghana; I wasn’t even Director of Passport; I was a Deputy Ambassador in Holland and came back in 2011.’
Mr. Anim was picked by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) Wednesday to help with investigations into allegations that he knew something about the passport issued to Amoateng.
The former MP arrived in the country recently, after serving the jail term in the US for drug trafficking, but was arrested by security operatives on his return at the Kotoka International Airport for allegedly possessing a fake passport.
‘I don’t work in the Washington Consulate; I never signed passports from there and that particular passport was machine readable so it is very easy to find out the director who signed that passport for Mr. Amoateng.’
By Fidelia Achama
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