We respect acquittal of Nayele’s ‘accomplices’ – British High Commissioner

General News of Monday, 2 March 2015

Source: citifmonline.com

British High Comm Jon Benjamin

The British High Commissioner to Ghana has said he respects the Attorney General’s decision to discontinue the case involving Alhaji Dawood and six others accused of allegedly aiding Nayele Ametefe to transport 12 kilograms of cocaine into the United Kingdom (UK).

The court acquitted and discharged all six persons after state prosecutors filed a nolle prosequi, stating their decision to discontinue the case.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Jon Benjamin said the court’s verdict is, “entirely a sovereign decision of the Ghana Justice system” and the British High Commission “respects” that.

He believes state prosecutors might have had, “ sufficient evidence” to take such a bold step.

The six persons, including the then head of the VIP lounge at the Kotoka International Airport were picked up moments after news broke that Nayele transported the cocaine through the airport.

Days after their arrest, the BNI with the assistance of some state security officials, took the accused through a simulation exercise at the airport to re-enact how they got the drugs out.

They were subsequently charged and placed before the courts. The state, however, announced a withdrawal of the case after several adjournments aimed at allowing the prosecution to duly investigate the matter.

Nayele Ametefe has subsequently been sentenced to 8 years, 8 months imprisonment in the UK.

Mr. Benjamin, who has been in the country for nine months, also shared views about the economy saying it is still promising despite the current economic challenges.

“In the long term, I think it is still promising; Ghana has huge potential, it has new oil discoveries coming on stream. Despite the economic difficulties, it is still growing…in the long-term, I think the future and the potential is still bright,” the UK High Commissioner said.

Some economists believe Ghana’s economy is struggling due to the structures created by British and other Western colonialists.

Jon Benjamin, therefore, advised Ghanaians “ not to be overly obsessed with Ghana’s history” but rather focus on Ghana’s future prospects.

Benjamin further asked major industry players in Ghana to “diversify the market and add value to raw materials.”

He revealed that the British High Commission will be holding forums with government to add value to Ghanaian raw materials.