The authentication of which passport director’s signature is on the passport which was used by Eric Amoateng, former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, to travel to Ghana from the United States, may take a while.
DSP Aidan Dery, the prosecutor, made this known to the Accra Circuit Court where the former MP is standing trial for fraudulently acquiring the said passport.
He told the court that the authentication might take at least a month and prayed for the matter to be adjourned.
The trial judge, Mrs. Ellen Amoah, subsequently had the case adjourned to June 29, 2015.
The Foreign Service Officer and Director of Passports attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Grant Ntiakwa, who is currently testifying in the court, has said he did not sign the passport of Amoateng,
He said he was sure it would be one of his predecessors.
The trial judge had asked for forensic analysis to be conducted on the signature to ascertain if indeed Amoateng’s travel document was from the passport office.
The witness, in his evidence-in-chief led by DSP Aidan Dery, also indicated that by looking at the passport one wouldn’t know whether it was for a lady that had been given to a man or vice versa.
According to him, there are two types of passports – biometric and non-biometric.
Explaining further, Mr Ntiakwa stated that with the biometric one, an applicant’s fingerprints and signature as well as a form filled by the applicant, are required to be deposited at the passport centres for processing.
On the other hand, the non-biometric passport requires a filled application form which is deposited at the passport centres.
The investigator, ASP Kwaku Lodonu, had
told the court during cross-examination by Charles Puozuing, counsel for Eric Amoateng, that it was based on the report of the owner of the passport, one Barbara Inkum, that the accused person was charged.
The investigator had in his evidence-in-chief claimed that Amoateng had said he acquired the passport while serving a jail term in the US over drug-related offence.
Ms Inkum, believed to be the owner of the passport, has also testified as well as Issaka Lan-Gani, Assistant Commissioner of Immigration at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
By Fidelia Achama
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