Last Warning For Minister Signature Forger Sureties

Charles Andoh 
An Accra Circuit Court presided over by Abena Oppong Adjin-Doku yesterday warned that Tonya Abela and Godfred Apesinaba, the men who stood surety for Charles Andoh risk paying the bail bond if they fail to produce the accused at the next adjourned date.

She said she had been marking time for the two sureties to produce the caused person but they had failed to do so.

Andoh is being tried in the case, which had seen over three adjournments, for allegedly forging the signature of Energy and Petroleum Minister Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah.

He is alleged to have forged the signature of the minister, ceding oil block, offshore of the south of the Cape Three Points to Miura Petroleum Limited, a subsidiary of Gonguana Oil Corporation, a Canadian oil firm.

Even though, the company has denied any link with the suspect who is still on the run after securing 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 has never reported to the police even though he was asked to report daily.

The suspect, upon his arrest, was detained for two days and granted bail of GH¢10,000.

At the initial stages of the trial, Inspector William Nyadikor filling an application to compel the sureties to produce the accused person said the regional Criminal Investigation Department is investigating a signature forgery case involving Andoh.

He said the suspect has failed to appear before the police while the sureties have also failed to produce him leading to their arrest and subsequent granting of bail in the sum of GH¢15,000 with one surety each.

However, at the trial yesterday, the worried trial judge who appeared fed up with the excuse of the two sureties could not take it anymore.

‘It is the accused person I have been marking time for you to produce; I will give you one last adjourned date.’

‘If you fail to produce the accused person be prepared to pay the bail sum’ Mrs. Adjin-Doku warned and adjourned the case to July 16.

Same Old Tale
At the last adjourned date when the case was called, the two sureties did not have anything new to say rather than to beg for more time to produce Andoh.

The prosecutor, Inspector Nyadikor reminded the court of its earlier order for the sureties to produce the main suspect on May 28.

‘My lord, at the last adjourned date, you asked the sureties to produce the accused but they are here without the suspect.’

Counsel for the two sureties holding brief for Francis Achibonga said his clients had endeavoured to find the accused but to no avail.

He told the court that information available to them indicated that Andoh is at Lawra in the Upper West Region.

He assured that the two sureties would go to Lawra in search of the accused, a mission which obviously did not yield any positive results.

Can’t Report
Meanwhile, this reporter yesterday had a nasty confrontation with one Joe Achana, a Court Warrant Officer (CWO) whose duty it is to maintain law and order in the court and not to interfere with court procedures.

He said the journalist had no business whatsoever to take down notes while the court was in session except with an explicit permission from the registrar of the court.

He warned ‘you are not supposed to write in this court, you must have a letter from the registrar to show that you can report, you can’t just come here and sit down and write. You are not a party in this case, or even a lawyer so you can’t write.’

When the reporter protested he boasted ‘next time, I will not even allow you enter the court, I can take your notepad and go and give it to my lord, this time I am treating you like a gentleman.’

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By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson

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