The investigator in the trial of the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng, at an Accra Circuit Court for alleged fraudulent acquisition of Ghanaian passport has said that the accused person acquired the passport while serving his time in the United States of America (USA).
ASP Kwaku Lodonu told the court presided over by Mrs Ellen Vivian Amoah that even though the former MP had told him that he downloaded a form on the internet during his incarceration for heroin related offences, investigations revealed that passport forms were not available on the net.
He said this in his evidence in chief led by DSP Aidan Dery. The prosecutor in the case admitted that 'nobody knows how the passport came to be in the possession of the accused person.'
The witness said on August 5, 2014 he was informed about a case of fraudulent acquisition of passport by his superiors at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
He said he was informed that the suspect had arrived from the USA and that the suspect was Amoateng who had in his possession a passport with number H2347780.
Furthermore, he said the suspect had been taken to the Narcotics Control Board so he went there and took him to the CID Headquarters where his statement was taken, and tendered the statement to the court in evidence.
The police officer said in the course of his investigations it was revealed that the said passport belonged to one Barbara Inkum who had applied for it but never got it.
The investigator said a certain Frank Anane, who is the immigration officer who helped the lady to acquire the passport, said he lost touch with the said lady so he called her mother but she also failed to see him for the passport.
According to him, the suspect told him that a certain Ghanaian prison inmate called Mohammed helped him to acquire the said passport and said he and Mohammed were released together and did not know which way he went.
Under cross-examination by Charles Puozuing, counsel for Amoateng, the witness said Frank Anane had told him that he tried to get in touch with the lady but could not.
He noted that there were no official records of the said passport but he managed to get information on it from the Bureau of National Investigations.
Barbara Inkum, owner of the passport said to have been used by the accused person to travel to Ghana from the United States, had testified at the last hearing.
The witness, a 25-year-old lady, told the court that she had never seen the passport said to be hers because after giving her particulars to a gentleman called Frank to process her passport for her, she never saw him again.
In her examination in chief led by DSP Aidan Dery, she said between 2008 and 2009 she wanted to have a passport so her elder sister advised that she should get in touch with one cousin of theirs working with the Immigration Service .
According to her, she was informed that her cousin was at the Aflao Border so a gentleman called Kwaku Obeng introduced someone called Frank to her and her sister to assist them with the processes for passport acquisition.
The witness said she was asked by Frank to give all her particulars to him (Frank) including her birth certificate and an amount of GH¢150. She added that when the prosecuting officer gave her a passport form with a passport size photograph to have a look, she identified the photo on it as hers.
In addition, she mentioned the number on the passport as H237080.
She explained that after she gave the forms and paid the money, she waited for a response from Frank but never heard from him. She said she never set eyes on him and had even lost his contact.
Ibrahim Issaka Lan-Gani, Assistant Commissioner of Immigration at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), was the first witness in the case.
By Fidelia Achama
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