General News of Friday, 16 January 2015
Nayele Ametefe, the beleaguered lady with both a Ghanaian and an Austrian passport, who pleaded guilty to carrying 12 kilos of cocaine to the United Kingdom, may have been sentenced to 8 years 8 months in prison, but her case remains a political issue back home in Ghana.
In the wake of her arrest, prosecution and subsequent conviction, both the ruling National Democratic Congress [NDC] and the opposition New Patriotic Party [NPP] have been trying to out-do each other by hurling accusations and counter-accusations of complicity in the trafficking of 12 kilos “pure cocaine” to the United Kingdom through the VIP Kotoka International Airport [KIA] lounge.
The NPP had earlier linked the lady cocaine baroness to the ruling NDC and its members fuelled the allegation that Nayele Ametefe had a diplomatic passport in her possession.
The opposition party also cited the ‘hasty’ visit by Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK, Victor Smith, of the then suspect Nayele Ametefe.
But the NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia dismissed the NPP’s claims that officials in the NDC were complicit in the jailed drug courier’s saga.
General Mosquito, as he is affectionately called, said the opposition party must rather be held responsible for Nayele’s brazen act since it was under their (NPP’s) administration that the convict was introduced to cocaine dealing.
Nayele Ametefe aka ‘Ruby Appiah’ aka ‘Angel’s’ political party affiliation is yet to be known publicly, although she is serving her 8 years prison term on her own plea handed down to her by theIsleworth Crown Court in London on January 6, 2015.
Nonetheless, many are of a view that, the 8 years sentenced given to the “Cocaine Angel” is low, especially considering that the street value of the drugs she concealed is estimated to be about 1.872 million Pounds.
Peacefmonline.com has, however, stumbled on some interesting piece of information.
Any ordinary person can pray the UK’s Crown Court to review the judgment if they can show that her sentence is “unreasonably low (or ‘unduly lenient’).
According to Peacefmonline.com sources, UK’s law gives room to even the layman to appeal to the court to review a sentence if he or she is not pleased and thinks the sentence is a bit on the low side.
Our investigations have revealed that, complains about a Crown Court’s “unduly lenient” sentence exists in the UK and can be applied for by any resident including citizens of Ghana who have interest in the Nayele Ametefe’s case.
According to the government of UK trustworthy web site,www.gov.uk interested persons keen to pursue the case only have 28 days time limit to lodge a complaint. Thus from now to 3rd February, Nayele’s years in prison could possibly shoot-up if anyone applies and win the case.
A former Ghanaian UK prosecutor, Godwin Adjei Gyamfi has confirmed to Peacefmonline.com in an interview that, even though Nayele’s case is against the State [UK], it is “permissible” for any person to challenge the ruling.
“The law has been there for years. The procedure must be channeled to the Attorney General for consideration before it takes effect. Any serious drug case sentence can be challenged,” he said.
Only certain types of case can be reviewed, including; murder, rape, robbery, some child sex crimes and child cruelty, some serious fraud, some serious drug crimes, crimes committed because of the victim’s race or religion
Only 1 person needs to ask for a sentence to be reviewed and not necessarily have to be involved in the case.
How to complain
Contact the UK Attorney General’s Office as soon as possible after the sentence is passed. The time limit for making a complaint is 28 days after sentencing.
Provide as much information as you can about the case, like:
- Name of the person who got the sentence
- Date the sentence was given
- Court where the case was held
- Crime committed
UK’s Attorney General’s Office address
Telephone: 020 7271 2492
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
The Attorney General has 28 days to review a sentence and make a decision. Once the case has been reviewed, it may be sent to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal may decide that the sentence:
- Should stay the same
- Is unreasonably low (called ‘unduly lenient’) and may increase it
- Refuse to hear the case
- Even if a case is passed on to the Court of Appeal, it may not change the sentence.