Charles Andoh aka Arafat
Time appears not to be on the side of Tonya Abela and Godfred Apesida – the men who stood surety for Charles Andoh – as an Accra Circuit Court yesterday ordered them to produce the accused person, who is being tried for allegedly forging the signature of Energy and Petroleum Minister, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah.
The court, presided over by Abena Oppong Adjin-Doku, asked the sureties to produce Charles Andoh in person on June 18.
Andoh is alleged to have forged the signature of the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Armah-Kofi Buah, ceding oil block offshore south of Cape Three Points to Miura Petroleum Limited, a subsidiary of Gonguana Oil Corporation, which is a Canadian oil firm.
Even though the company has denied any link with the suspect who is still on the run after being granted police bail, the Minister insists that Andoh forged his signature in the dubious oil block transaction.
Police say since Andoh was given bail on April 17, 2014, he had never reported himself to them, even though he was asked to report on a daily basis.
The accused person, upon his arrest, was detained for two days and granted bail in the sum of GH¢10,000.
Earlier, Inspector William Nyadikor, filling an application to compel the sureties to produce the accused person, said the Regional Criminal Investigations Department (CID) was investigating a signature forgery case involving Andoh.
He said the suspect had failed to appear before the police while the sureties had also failed to produce him, leading to their arrest and subsequent granting of bail.
The court had issued a bench warrant for their arrest before Francis Achibonga, their counsel, prayed the court to rescind that decision.
He said they would need some time to produce Andoh, adding that ‘we can only plead with the court to give us some time to produce the accused person to ensure that the justice in this case will be served.’
The trial judge, Mrs. Abena Oppong Adjin-Doku, who revoked the bench warrant issued for the arrest of the sureties, directed them to produce Andoh yesterday, May 28.
She admitted them to a bail sum of GH¢15,000 with one surety each.
Same Old Story
However, when the case was called yesterday, the two sureties did not have anything new to say and pleaded for more time to produce Andoh.
The prosecutor, Inspector Nyadikor, reminded the court of its earlier order for the sureties to produce the main accused person on May 28.
‘My lord, at the last adjourned date, you asked the sureties to produce the accused but they are here without him,’ he stated.
Counsel for the two sureties, Achibonga, said his clients had made efforts to locate the accused person but to no avail.
He told the court that information available to the two indicated that Andoh is at Lawra in the Upper West Region.
He gave the assurance that the two sureties would book a flight to Lawra to search for the accused person.
The trial judge adjourned the case until June 18.
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By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
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