The trial of the six persons arrested in connection with the exportation of 12.5kg of cocaine to the United Kingdom by convicted Nayele Ametefeh, aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi, took a dramatic turn yesterday when the state dropped the charges against the accused persons.
Appearing before an Accra Circuit Court presided over by Francis Obiri, a Chief State Attorney, Ms Penelope Ann Mammattha, said the state had filed Nolle Prosequi seeking to drop the charges against the suspects as predicted by DAILY GUIDE last month. The paper had said that the case would not go any further because of the alleged involvement of a top senior government official.
A copy of the application in possession of DAILY GUIDE, dated February 20, 2015 at the Attorney General’s (AG’s) Chambers, signed by the AG, Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, said ‘Take notice that the state intends that the proceedings against the accused persons in the above-named case shall not continue.’
The judge in separate rulings said before the court was an application of Nolle Prosequi filed by the state at 8:41am on February 24, 2015 in respect of the case.
Judge Obiri said the state, per the application, was telling the court and indeed the whole world that it does not intend to continue with the case involving the accused persons.
Mr Obiri accordingly discharged the accused persons in the respective cases.
The freed suspects, Abiel Ashitey Armah, Foreign Service Officer in-charge of the VVIP Lounge at KIA, Ahmed Abubakar, Protocol Officer and Theophilius Kissi, a Civil Servant, were charged for allegedly aiding Ruby Adu-Gyamfi to smuggle 12.5kg of cocaine valued at over $3 million to the UK.
Also in the dock were Sadalia Nuhu and Nana Akua Amponsah, both businesswomen who the prosecution said had travelled with Ruby but managed to escape from London back to Accra on the day Ruby was busted at the Heathrow Airport, London. They were facing a charge of conspiracy while Alhaji Dawud Mohammed, a businessman who was said to have facilitated the use of the VVIP lounge by the three ladies, was facing an abetment charge.
Sadalia and Akua Amponsah, said to be accomplices of Ruby Adu-Gyamfi, were charged at the court for aiding and abetting the drug baroness who used the highly restricted VVIP section of the Kotoka International Airport, Accra, to board the BA 078 flight to London, per the prosecution’s own facts.
Meanwhile, Vincent Aikins, counsel for Theophilius Kissi, said the state ought to have taken the decision long ago.
While thanking those he described as his learned colleagues at the other side, he added ‘they should have thrown in the towel much earlier.’
This latest development was preceded by several adjournments at the instance of the prosecution, claiming the case was still under investigation.
It may be recalled that a story in DAILY GUIDE on January 18, 2015 under the headline, ‘Ruby Cocaine Gang Case Crashes,’ stated that the prosecution would soon drop the charges against the accused persons.
Some of the accused persons, according to the story, were said to be ready to open the ‘Pandora’s box’ by dropping the name of a senior government official involved in the Ruby cocaine saga should the state proceed to prosecute the case.
Sources alleged the said NDC guru personally dropped Ruby and her girls at the Kotoka International Airport in the evening of November 9, 2014.
It is alleged that convicted Ruby and the said NDC chieftain were in such a furious argument that the drug baroness left her passport at her East Legon residence and one of the two girls on trial had to rush back and retrieve the document.
Furthermore, an intelligence source said when Ruby was arrested the said NDC top official’s telephone number was found on the cocaine baroness’ mobile handset as one of the last persons she had called before the BA 078 flight left Accra.
Additionally, the same NDC top official was the first person Ruby had called frantically on arrival at the Heathrow Airport when the plane touched down on November 10 and she was intercepted by the British law enforcement agents.
End Of Matter
‘If they go ahead with the prosecution, the top man’s name is likely to pop up during the trial and that is going to embarrass the government, looking at the sensitive position the person is holding so they are ending the matter,’ a credible source told DAILY GUIDE .
‘They are just using the legal route of adjournment to delay the trial so that the court would technically endorse it by discharging them upon persistent demand by the suspects’ lawyers. The investigation has long been concluded but they cannot do anything to the suspects,’ the source claimed.
Plea & Bail
All the six suspects had variously pleaded not guilty and were subsequently granted bail in the sum of GH¢100,000 each with three sureties, one to be justified.
Also, they were each to provide one public servant, each earning not less than GH¢1,000 a month.
As part of the bail conditions, the accused persons were to report to the investigator handling the case once a month between the hours of 1pm and 4pm.
Ruby Adu-Gyamfi is currently incarcerated in Her Majesty’s Bronzefield prison in the UK after pleading guilty on the first day of court proceedings at the Isleworth Crown Court and subsequently convicted by the court.
She is serving eight years and eight months’ jail term.
At the last adjourned date, Penelope Ann Mammattha had said the state could not be pressured to conclude its investigation into the matter after the defence counsel had accused the state of playing ‘delay tactics’ with the trial because ‘there was nothing against their clients.’
Ms Mammatha had argued that the case before the court was a serious one that required thorough investigations.
The AG had in all the three cases before the court requested for another one month to continue with investigations.
Businessman Alhaji Dawud told Citi News that he felt vindicated.
‘I am very happy that I’ve done nothing wrong. I helped people, this is just coincidence but I thank God Almighty for seeing me through. I will be very careful next time,’ he said.
‘I really thank God Almighty; He has redeemed my image today. He is a faithful God. I pray my business partners will come to me; I pray they will know that I am innocent.’
Lawyer for the two ladies, Ellis Owusu Fordjour, in an interview with Citi News , said the withdrawal of the case was long overdue. ‘They don’t have the evidence and I told them that they should have thrown in the towel a long time ago,’ he underscored.
By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
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