In his bid to divorce his wife, a retired Major of the Ghana Armed Forces, Major Daniel Kwame Bessah, allegedly served his wife with a fake divorce certificate, for which reason he has been remanded by the Accra Circuit Court.
Major Bessah (retd) is alleged to have connived with Akwasi Asare Jnr, a clerk of the Judicial Service, and Charlotte Ofori, a typist at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), to forge the said divorce certificate.
He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of possessing forged judicial/official document, contrary to Section 166 of Act 29/60, and uttering of forged document, contrary to Section 169 of Act 29/60.
Asare has been charged with one count of forgery of judicial document, while Charlotte is facing one count of abetment of crime.
They have both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The retired Army officer and the other accused persons are expected to reappear before the court, presided over by Ms Audrey Korcuvi-Tay, on March 7, 2014.
Facts of the Case
According to the prosecution, the complainant got married to Major Bessah (retd) on October 12, 2002, under ordinance and had since been living together as a couple.
In October 2013, the complainant was in her room when Major Bessah (retd) entered, threw a divorce certificate at her and directed her to pack out of their matrimonial home for no reason.
The complainant read through the divorce certificate, dated January 5, 2010 and notarised by the Second Deputy Judicial Secretary.
According to the prosecution, the divorce certificate shocked the complainant because she had not been notified of any divorce and had also not participated in any divorce proceedings in any court.
She, therefore, contacted her lawyers, who reported the matter to the police.
Investigations revealed that the purported suit No. CC333/10 on the divorce certificate, which was filed at the Circuit Court, was found to have been signed by a High Court judge, Mr Justice Ofosu Quartey.
It also came up during investigations that Justice Quartey had not sat on any such divorce case, while the suit number could also not be found at the Circuit Court registry.
Outcome of investigations
Police investigations uncovered that both the Deputy Judicial Secretary and the Chief Registrar of the Circuit Court had no knowledge of the said divorce certificate.
Asare, in his caution statement, claimed Charlotte had given him the job and told him it was a mere document meant to facilitate visa acquisition.
But Major Bessah (retd) has denied the claims of the two accused persons and insisted he had gone for the divorce certificate after paying the required statutory fee.
The prosecution’s position is that Bessah “knew that he and his wife had not appeared before any court, yet went ahead to serve the wife with the document, amidst orders to vacate the premises”.
The premises in the context refer to the matrimonial home of Bessah and the complainant.