Police in Kumasi have arrested a 58-year-old man for impersonating and parading as a chief and brother of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Nana Kwadwo Amoa Apem Okogyeabour is accused of regularly dressing up as chief in order to deceive and defraud the unsuspecting public, posing as director of a non-existent organisation known as ‘Fighting Corruption Against Asante Chiefs.’
He was arrested Wednesday morning at Manhyia, the seat of the Asante overlord, where he had asked some of his victims to meet him with sheep and drinks for onward presentation to Otumfuo.
Manhyia District Police Commander, Supt Dr Nyamekye Andani-Ameyaw, said among the suspect’s victims were one Mohammed Akaanya, Bawa Amaya and Seidu Shaibu.
He told DAILY GUIDE that the suspect, a native of Ahenema-Kokoben near Kumasi, claimed to be a cousin of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and that he (Apem Okogyeabour) was a mason by profession.
According to the police chief, the man denied being a chief, even though he had allegedly been engaging in the identity fraud for some years now, parading in the city and claiming to be a trustee of lands at the Abinkyi market area in Kumasi.
Supt Andani-Ameyaw said the suspect allegedly defrauded one Ishmaila of US$4,450 under the pretext of giving it to His Royal Highness, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, in exchange for the cedi equivalent, as the king needed some dollars for his trip abroad.
‘He normally introduces himself as a cousin of Otumfuo to people and offers to help those in need of land,’ the police commander disclosed and added that the suspect was introduced to four of the victims by a trader, Mrs. Felicia Baako.
Accompanied by a man identified as his friend, Amoah Apem Okogyeabour was arrested at the forecourt of the Manhyia Palace by police officers at about 10:30 am on Wednesday, Supt Andani-Ameyaw recounted.
He said the suspect was being held in custody pending further investigations to determine his true identity and his modus operandi.
From Ernest Kofi Adu, Kumasi
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