Crime & Punishment of 2014-04-10

Chief charged for fraud

Nii Osah Mensah, a traditional chief at James Town who allegedly defrauded two land buyers has been arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court.

However, his accomplice one Nii Quaye, his personal surveyor in charge of the stool lands is at large.

The two accused persons have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime and four counts of defrauding by false pretences.

The accused, Nii Osah Mensah pleaded not guilty to the charges and was admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢200,000 with four sureties two to be justified.

The prosecutor, Chief Inspector Francis Tassar, presenting the case said the accused usually demand cars and money from his clients for various plots of land at Kotoku and Buduburam.

He said the first complainant, Mr. Kwabena Kaakyire Bediako, is a businessman living in Canada whilst the second complainant is one Richard Dosu, an administrator at the US Embassy in Ghana.

He said in December 2010, a witness in the case, one Pastor Prince Owusu Amponsah of the Holy Light Chapel at Taifa and his church organized an annual harvest and invited Nii Mensah but he failed to attend and rather donated eight plots of land at Kotoku to the church.

He said in January 2011, Nii Mensah sent Nii Quaye to collect GH¢7,500 from the pastor for the documentation of the land, and Bediako, who is the landlord of the pastor paid for the church.

Chief Inspector Tassar stated that, in August 2011, the complainants and pastor Amponsah went to the house of Nii Mensah to thank him, where he (Nii Mensah) revealed to them that he has vast lands available for sale, which the complainants expressed interest in.

He said Bediako then told Nii Mensah that he will pay for the land after selling some cars he had brought in.

He said Nii Mensah quickly expressed interest in the cars, including an Infinity saloon car and one ML Benz 320 all valued at GH¢104,500 and the accused also showed eight plots of land at Kotoku and another six plots at Bortianor to the complainant.

He said Nii Mensah then sent Nii Quaye to Bediako for GH¢20,000 towards the documentation of the land.

Chief Inspector Tassar said Richard Dosu also became interested in acquiring some of the plots of land after witnessing the deal between Bediako and Nii Mensah.

Nii Mensah then took a Nissan Pathfinder, VW Passat saloon car and a Dodge Ram bus, all valued at GH¢67,000 from the second complainant and then showed him four plots of land at Budumburam and ten plots at Kotoku.

He said the accused persons further collected GH¢10,000 from Dosu for documentation on the lands. They also started using the cars they have collected from the complainants.

He said when the complainants entered the lands, which were given to them by the accused persons they met strong resistance and all attempt to reach them proved futile.

Chief Inspector Tassar further noted that, on December 7, 2013 the complainants reported the case to the Police and Nii Mensah was arrested while Nii Quaye managed to escape.

He said Nii Mensah was released on Police enquiry bail to assist investigations, but he jumped bail.

He said the Police, however, managed to retrieve the cars but in a deplorable state.

Chief Inspector Tassar said a Forfeiture of Recognizance was served on the surety and he appeared before the court. The surety then produced Nii Mensah who was subsequently charged.

He said efforts are being made to apprehend Nii Quaye who is at large.