Nana Yaw Oppong, one of the complainants who accused Michael Ayittey Okine alias Ayittey Powers, a professional Ghanaian boxer, of taking an amount of GH¢14,000 from him and his colleague in Kumasi under the pretext of securing them visas, testified in court yesterday.
He told an Accra Circuit Court that he paid various sums, all amounting to GH¢ 6,500, to the suspect after the boxer told him that he could assist him get a visa to Australia.
In his examination in chief led by Chief Inspector Agbemehia Oppong, he told the court presided over by Aboagye Tando that in November 2013 he was informed by some friends in Australia that the accused person could assist those who wanted to travel to Australia by acquiring visas for them.
He said he was interested in travelling abroad so he got in touch with the boxer who was in Australia then but assured him that he could get him the visa and asked him to give his wife in Ghana an amount of GH¢1,000 as part of the money for the visa processing, to which he obliged.
Furthermore, he said the accused person later arrived and demanded another GH¢5,000 from him in connection with the visa acquisition, adding that he then took his passport, which he claimed he had forwarded to the Australian High Commission.
The witness said Ayittey Powers was not able to get him the visa but then promised him that after his fight with Braimah Kamoko, alias Bukom Banku, he would get him a visa. He added that Powers further demanded an amount of GH¢500 which he gave to him, adding that he later asked for a refund after realising the deal was not going through. The case has been adjourned to today.
The suspect has been charged with defrauding by false pretence but he pleaded not guilty and has been granted a GH¢50,000 bail with two sureties.
Presenting the facts of the case, the prosecuting officer, Chief Inspector Isaac Agbemehia, said the complainants are Nana Oppong Yaw of Asuoyeboah and Kofi Asante of Abrepoh Junction in Kumasi.
According to him, in November 2013 the suspect took advantage of his boxing profession to acquire visas for some Ghanaians to travel to Australia as part of his boxing team.
He said some Ghanaians resident in Australia who heard about the deal went and saw the boxer and told him they wanted some family members to join them. The boxer promised he could assist them by acquiring visas for those relations.
The prosecutor stated that as a result of that Nana Oppong paid an amount of GH¢6,500 to the suspect while Asante paid him GH¢7,500. Ayittey then took their passports with the aim of acquiring visas for them.
He stated further that even though the complainants were not boxers, the suspect acquired boxers’ identification cards for them from the boxing authority and forwarded them to the Australian High Commission and showed evidence to the complainants on February 12, 2014.
Explaining further, the prosecutor said the complainants were not satisfied with the outcome of their visa application and asked the boxer for a refund but he failed to do so.
He observed that the victims reported the matter to the police station and the boxer was consequently arraigned afterwards.
By Fidelia Achama
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