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Crime & Punishment Mon, 31 Jul 2006

Asibi fails to produce phone number

Accra, July 31, GNA - The girlfriend of a cocaine baron, Ms Grace Asibi was on Monday at the Justice Georgina Woode Committee unable to produce the phone number on which the Police allegedly issued death threat to her. Ms Asibi has accused the Police of issuing a 12-hour ultimatum to her to leave the country or face death. She said it was rather unfortunate that the sister to whom she gave the number had also lost it making it impossible for her to make it available to the Committee.

Ms Asibi, therefore, urged the Committee to contact the Areeba Company if it still needed the phone number for their investigation. She had during last Friday sitting promised to make available the phone number on which Mr Patrick Ampewuah, Deputy Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) used in making the call to her. Mr Ampewuah had repeatedly denied the charge made against him saying he had made no such call to Ms Asibi, adding: "I have not rung her and I don't even know her number." He said he had never owned nor used the numbers mentioned by Ms Asibi.

Giving his evidence in chief at the Committee sitting in Accra on Monday, Mr Ampewuah denied knowledge of the tape, the voice and the language used. He said he was a typical Akan of both Kwahu and Ashanti origin so would not speak Akan in the tone that was recorded, like one who had no Akan background. Asked to give a background to about how he got to know Ms Asibi, he said he was in his office on November 2l, 2005 when Mr David Appeatu, Director General of Police CID, called him that he had information about some people dealing in narcotic drugs at East Legon. He said Mr Appeatu said the informant had demanded a 50-50 share of the consignment, but he (Mr Appeatu) had feigned interest just to get to the bottom of the case.

Mr Ampewuah said Mr Appeatu, therefore, instructed him to organise a team to go and find out about the case. He said Mr Apeatu did not disclose to him, who the informant was. He said he, therefore, detailed some men who went to the East Legon location and found the cocaine just as instructed. Mr Ampewuah said Mr Tabiri handled the case which the Director General (DG) himself supervised, and that he (Ampewuah) only came into the picture when the DG was not available. "It was one such occasion when the DG had travelled that Tabiri brought Grace to my office to discuss the problem about threats to her life and the issue of re-opening her office at Osu," Mr Ampewuah said.

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Mr Ampewuah said he advised Ms Asibi against the use of the Osu office if she said there were threats on her life. He said it was at a later date that Mr Tabiri told him, Ampewuah that Ms Asibi was very embittered as an informant and that "Grace had threatened to show Mr Tabiri something."

Ms Asibi, the woman at the centre of the controversial bribery case of Policemen in the East Legon Cocaine Affair, had insisted that it was Mr Ampewuah, who called her on her mobile phone on March 31, 2006 giving her a 12-hour ultimatum to leave the country or risk death, because she had leaked information on the cocaine deal to the media. Ms Asibi is the girlfriend of Gerardo Varquez, a Venezuelan drug baron from whose house in Accra 38 million dollars worth of cocaine was seized in November 2005.

Under cross-examination by Mr Ellis Owusu-Fordjour, counsel for Mr Ampewuah, at a public hearing at the Justice Georgina Woode Committee, Ms Asibi said she was sure of the voice because she had interacted with him on two separate occasions and, therefore, knew the voice.

Source: GNA
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