An Accra circuit court will today deliver a ruling on whether or not a vehicle in the custody of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) should be released to Sadalia Nuhu, one of the six persons freed in connection with the exportation of 12.5kg of cocaine to the United Kingdom by convicted Nayele Ametefeh aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi.
Lawyers for the businesswoman yesterday moved a motion at the court to compel the BNI to release the vehicle they had seized from the applicant during her arrest.
Moving the motion in a court presided over by Justice Francis Obiri, Andrew Bortia, counsel for Ms. Nuhu, stated that the applicant was charged with a narcotic-related offence and was freed but the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) had failed to release the said vehicle to his client.
Mr Andrew Bortia said at a point when the BMW SUV X3 vehicle was released to her, NACOB accosted Ms. Nuhu and seized it from her.
He stated that there was no evidence as the state wants the court to believe that the said vehicle was a stolen one.
He argued that the Customs Exercise and Preventive Service (CEPS) had their own way of validating documents of a vehicle.
Opposing the motion, Matthew Amponsah, a chief state attorney, was emphatic that the court should not grant the request of the applicant, adding that the said vehicle was ‘tainted with crime.’
He said proper custom duty had not been paid on the vehicle, stressing that it was related to a narcotic case.
Mr. Amponsah stated that the BNI kept the vehicle for security reason and that the vehicle had been brought to the court premises.
In the view of the chief state attorney, Ms Nuhu stated two contradictory sources of the car, one of which was Nigeria, but when INTERPOL Nigeria was contacted, they denied knowledge of the vehicle.
Mr. Amponsah alleged that the car appeared to be a stolen one and prayed the court not to release it and that the BNI should conduct further investigation into the case.
Justice Obiri wondered why the BNI had failed to do the necessary checks until the time that the state attorney was asking the court not to grant the request.
The judge said it was contemptuous on the part of the BNI and the NACOB to seize the vehicle from the applicant when the court had given an order on it.
He accordingly adjourned the matter to today to rule on the motion.
The state in February this year dropped the various charges preferred against Ms. Nuhu and five others after it had entered Nolle Prosequi to discontinue with the criminal trial against the accused persons.
State prosecutors had alleged that Ms. Nuhu and one Nana Akua Amponsah – also a businesswoman – had travelled with Ruby but managed to escape from London to Accra when she (Ruby) was nabbed in the United Kingdom over cocaine.
Ms. Nuhu 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.
By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
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