Ibrahim Issaka Lan- Gani, an Assistant Commissioner of Immigration at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) yesterday told an Accra Circuit Court that the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng, was shocked when he (Lan-Gani) told him (Amoateng) that the passport he (Amoateng) used in traveling to Ghana was a forged one.
He said this in the court presided over by Mrs. Ellen Vivian Amoah, where the former MP is on trial in connection with alleged fraudulent acquisition of passport.
The witness said this in his examination in-chief led by DSP Aidan Dery.
According to the witness, on August 7, 2014 he was on duty at the arrival hall of KIA when he was given notice by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) that a deportee would arrive with Delta Airlines from the USA.
He said as part of the Immigration operations, they went to the Tarmac when aircraft landed and noted that when all the passengers had disembarked from one airline, he spotted Amoateng and asked him to go with him to his office where he (Immigration Officer) debriefed him (Amoateng) and asked him (Amoateng) the reason for the deportation and whether he (Amoateng) had any other thing left for him (Officer) to help him (Amoateng) retrieve at the arrival hall.
Furthermore, he stated that Amoateng presented his passport to him and immediately he saw the data page, he knew it had been forged and so he immediately informed the MP about it and he had an expression of surprise on his face.
The Assistant Commissioner said when he asked Amoateng how he came by the said passport, Amoateng responded that after serving time in prison, he wrote to the Ghana Ambassador in the USA to issue him with a travel document but said he did not receive any response from the envoy.
The witness said the accused explained that he consequently asked someone to do a passport for him to travel home but observed that Amoateng did not state exactly who got him the passport.
The immigration officer stated that he told the former MP that he was going to collect the passport from him, to which the accused demanded to be given a photocopy of it before it could be taken away from him.
DSP Dery then asked for the case to be adjourned and it was consequently adjourned to September 29, 2014. Amoateng, a teacher and farmer, had spent over seven years in the United States of America (USA) prison where he was jailed for heroin-related offences.
The passport Amoateng used in flying back to Ghana was originally issued to a lady called Barbara Inkoom with No. H2347080. The passport was issued in Accra on Febuary 23, 2009, according to sources at the time the former MP was still incarcerated. Amoateng was granted bail in the sum of GH¢200,000 with three sureties, one to be justified.
BY Fidelia Achama
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