Minister Signature Forger Goes Scot Free

Emmanuel Armah Buah and Charles Andoh
An Accra Circuit Court yesterday ordered Tonya Abela and Godfred Apesinaba, the two men who stood sureties for Charles Andoh, to pay the bail bond of GH¢10,000 for failing to produce the accused person they had bailed.

With this decision, the suspect who is still on the run, may have escaped justice after allegedly forging the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah’s signature in a multimillion dollar oil block transaction.

The trial judge, Mrs. Abena Oppong Adjin-Doku, had earlier warned that the sureties risked paying the amount if they did not bring the accused person, Charles Andoh, by July 16, 2014.

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

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

‘If you fail to produce the accused person be prepared to pay the bail sum,’ the visibly worried trial judge, who appeared fed-up with the excuse of the two sureties, warned.

Andoh is being tried for allegedly forging the signature of the Energy and Petroleum Minister, and the case had seen over three adjournments.

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

Even though the company had denied any link with the suspect, Charles Andoh – 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 had never reported to the police, even though he was asked to report on daily basis.

The suspect, upon his arrest, was detained for two days and granted bail in the sum 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 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 in the sum of GH¢15,000 with one surety each.

Though the sureties were at the trial yesterday, they once again could not produce the accused person, compelling Mrs. Oppong Adjin-Doku to order them to pay the bail bond.

Still Wanted
Meanwhile, a police source who does not want to be named, said the slapping of the bail bond on the sureties was not the end of the case.

The source told DAILY GUIDE that Andoh still remains wanted by the police until he is arrested.

He explained that the sureties had only finished playing their part in the case.

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By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson

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