General News of Tuesday, 6 January 2015
Source: Graphic Online
The attention of Ghanaians, especially the media will be focused on London today, where Nayele Ametefeh awaits court sentencing for trafficking cocaine.
Nayele, who was busted in the United Kingdom (UK) for carrying 12.5 kg of cocaine, was scheduled to appear before the Crown Court at Isleworth yesterday for sentencing on her own plea.
But reports monitored from London by the Daily Graphic indicated that her case was not part of the cases listed for hearing yesterday at the Crown Court.
There was no official explanation to Ametefeh’s ‘no show’ in court, but reports indicated that she was believed to be indisposed in prison custody.
At 10:15 a.m. today, she is expected to appear in court for a sentence that legal experts suggest could range between 10 and 16 years’ imprisonment.
Ametefeh, alias Ruby Adu-Gyamfi, was arrested at the Heathrow International Airport on November 10, 2014 when she attempted to enter the UK with the drug in her hand luggage.
She was subsequently charged with Class A drug trafficking, put before the Uxbridge Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, November 11, 2014 and remanded in prison custody.
She later pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges when she appeared before the Crown Court via a video link from Her Majesty’s Prison, Bronzefield, on November 27, 2014.
The case did not last more than 10 minutes as the court adjourned it to yesterday for sentencing.
The prosecution refrained from stating the exact quantity of the substance she was carrying due to ongoing forensic analysis.
According to the prosecution, led by Ravinder John, Ametefeh would get a minimum of 10 years, but she may get more, if the substance is in excess of 10kg.
The arrest and trial of Ametefeh have generated huge interest back home as her name is given prominence on the front pages and in the major news bulletins of the local media.
Many of the print media had splashed their front pages with stories of her expected appearance in court yesterday, but she must have ‘swerved’ them with her ‘no show’ in court.
Nevertheless, her name is likely to assume prominence today as she also makes a return to court for a sentence that may have a ripple effect on her alleged accomplices in Ghana.
Ametefeh’s arrest and subsequent trial had repercussions in Ghana, leading to the arrest of many people in connection with the case.
They included two women, Nana Akua Amponsah and Sadalia Sandra Nuhu, both businesswomen who travelled with her but were believed to have absconded after her arrest.
The two were, however, arrested on their return to Accra and put before the Circuit Court for allegedly conspiring with Ametefeh to traffic narcotics. They both pleaded not guilty to the charges, but were remanded by the court before being granted bail subsequently.
Besides the two women, four others are before the court in connection with the case. They are Alhaji Mohammed Dawood, a businessman; Abiel Ashitey Armah, a Foreign Service officer; Ahmed Abubakar, a protocol officer and Theophilus Kissi, a civil servant.