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Crime & Punishment Mon, 28 Aug 2006

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Asibi raised genuine concerns in Ghana's interest

Accra, Aug. 28, GNA - The Georgina Wood Committee investigating cocaine related cases was told on Monday that Ms Grace Asibi, the young woman who is at the centre of an alleged 200,000 dollars bribe to a Senior Police Officer to drop a cocaine case only raised genuine concerns in the interest of the country
"Grace Asibi has on no occasion knowingly and unknowingly sought to put the good name of the Ghana Police Service into disrepute," Mr James Abiaduka, counsel for Ms Asibi, said in his final written submission to the Committee.
"She rather raised a very genuine concern for the interest of the country," Mr Abiaduka said, adding that Ms Asibi carried out her duty with the Police based on the help that she had received from Vasquez Gerardo Duarte David her boyfriend and suspected drug baron.
Asibi claimed she gave the Police a bribe of 200,000 dollars to drop the investigation of a case involving the seizure of 588 kilograms of cocaine from the residence of Vasquez at East Legon in Accra. Mr Abiaduka said about a year ago, Ms Asibi was just an uneducated village girl, who by chance bumped into Vasquez and "within a year was given what it would have taken her generations to acquire". He said Ms Asibi moved from nowhere to live in a first class residential area and was made the Managing Director of Afrodita, a subsidiary of Compinchex Company Limited operated by Vasquez.
"Indeed, within one year she had been transformed from an ordinary house help into a corporate Chief Executive Officer at the age of 22 years.
"Can anyone, therefore, give one reason why anyone will kill the bird that laid the golden egg?" He asked.
He said the issue at stake could be categorized into: - "Whether or not Vasquez Gerard, Duarte David alias Sharmo or Bodi, was in the country on and after November 24, 2005 and 93whether or not an amount of 200,000 dollars was paid to Superintendent Edward Tabiri by Vasquez through his girlfriend Grace Asibi.
"Whether or not the recorded dialogue on phone between Grace Asibi and another was Mr Ampawuah, the Deputy Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and whether or not Grace Asibi was the informant to the Police in respect of the 588 kilograms of cocaine seized at East Legon.
Dealing with the issues one after the other, Mr Abiaduka told the Committee that following the evidence from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) there was ample evidence that Vasquez could have been in the country on and after November 24, 2005 after leaving on November 10, 2005.
He said he could have come into the country through any of the four entry points into Ghana, namely Kotoka International Airport, Aflao, Elubo and Paga or through the 44 minor entry points and countless unapproved entry points without being recorded by the GIS. Mr Abiaduka said in examining the evidence of Superintendent Tabiri, it also came out clearly that he was aware that Vasquez was in the country during the time of the raid.
He tried to bring this out by analysing the calls received by the two accused persons, who were arrested at the scene of the crime. Mr Abiaduka said both accused persons tried calling one Bodi on their separate phones and this Bodi was Vasquez and the Police knew it. He argued further that if Mr Vasquez was on record to have brought in Joel Mella, one of the accused persons, unnoticed by the GIS, then "Vasquez the boss himself could enter and exit the country like air through an open window".
On whether Ms Asibi gave 200,000 dollars to Superintendent Tabiri or not, Mr Abiaduka said evidence so far questioned how Ms Asibi could walk to a house that had been condoned-off and she was not arrested by the security officers but asked that she should be sent to see the Operations Commander and his team.
"Even though she had long been dispatched, yet the Operations Commander on the way with the convoy, spots her at the Tetteh Quarshie Inter-change, and orders the convoy to stop and she is given a lift only to be dumped at the Police Headquarters to go and look for lawyers for the suspects. Why was the risk taken?"
On the issue of Mr Ampewuah threatening Ms Asibi's life on a cell phone, Mr Abiaduka said that the voice was that of Mr Ampewuah, who had all the background knowledge about Ms Asibi and so could use the kind of language that he used in referring to Ms Asibi as a prostitute. As to whether Ms Asibi was an informant or not could best be deduced from the evidence so far before the Committee with consideration to the age of Ms Asibi, educational background, her experience in life and the dilemma that she found herself in, she could not have been the informant.

Accra, Aug. 28, GNA - The Georgina Wood Committee investigating cocaine related cases was told on Monday that Ms Grace Asibi, the young woman who is at the centre of an alleged 200,000 dollars bribe to a Senior Police Officer to drop a cocaine case only raised genuine concerns in the interest of the country
"Grace Asibi has on no occasion knowingly and unknowingly sought to put the good name of the Ghana Police Service into disrepute," Mr James Abiaduka, counsel for Ms Asibi, said in his final written submission to the Committee.
"She rather raised a very genuine concern for the interest of the country," Mr Abiaduka said, adding that Ms Asibi carried out her duty with the Police based on the help that she had received from Vasquez Gerardo Duarte David her boyfriend and suspected drug baron.
Asibi claimed she gave the Police a bribe of 200,000 dollars to drop the investigation of a case involving the seizure of 588 kilograms of cocaine from the residence of Vasquez at East Legon in Accra. Mr Abiaduka said about a year ago, Ms Asibi was just an uneducated village girl, who by chance bumped into Vasquez and "within a year was given what it would have taken her generations to acquire". He said Ms Asibi moved from nowhere to live in a first class residential area and was made the Managing Director of Afrodita, a subsidiary of Compinchex Company Limited operated by Vasquez.
"Indeed, within one year she had been transformed from an ordinary house help into a corporate Chief Executive Officer at the age of 22 years.
"Can anyone, therefore, give one reason why anyone will kill the bird that laid the golden egg?" He asked.
He said the issue at stake could be categorized into: - "Whether or not Vasquez Gerard, Duarte David alias Sharmo or Bodi, was in the country on and after November 24, 2005 and 93whether or not an amount of 200,000 dollars was paid to Superintendent Edward Tabiri by Vasquez through his girlfriend Grace Asibi.
"Whether or not the recorded dialogue on phone between Grace Asibi and another was Mr Ampawuah, the Deputy Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and whether or not Grace Asibi was the informant to the Police in respect of the 588 kilograms of cocaine seized at East Legon.
Dealing with the issues one after the other, Mr Abiaduka told the Committee that following the evidence from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) there was ample evidence that Vasquez could have been in the country on and after November 24, 2005 after leaving on November 10, 2005.
He said he could have come into the country through any of the four entry points into Ghana, namely Kotoka International Airport, Aflao, Elubo and Paga or through the 44 minor entry points and countless unapproved entry points without being recorded by the GIS. Mr Abiaduka said in examining the evidence of Superintendent Tabiri, it also came out clearly that he was aware that Vasquez was in the country during the time of the raid.
He tried to bring this out by analysing the calls received by the two accused persons, who were arrested at the scene of the crime. Mr Abiaduka said both accused persons tried calling one Bodi on their separate phones and this Bodi was Vasquez and the Police knew it. He argued further that if Mr Vasquez was on record to have brought in Joel Mella, one of the accused persons, unnoticed by the GIS, then "Vasquez the boss himself could enter and exit the country like air through an open window".
On whether Ms Asibi gave 200,000 dollars to Superintendent Tabiri or not, Mr Abiaduka said evidence so far questioned how Ms Asibi could walk to a house that had been condoned-off and she was not arrested by the security officers but asked that she should be sent to see the Operations Commander and his team.
"Even though she had long been dispatched, yet the Operations Commander on the way with the convoy, spots her at the Tetteh Quarshie Inter-change, and orders the convoy to stop and she is given a lift only to be dumped at the Police Headquarters to go and look for lawyers for the suspects. Why was the risk taken?"
On the issue of Mr Ampewuah threatening Ms Asibi's life on a cell phone, Mr Abiaduka said that the voice was that of Mr Ampewuah, who had all the background knowledge about Ms Asibi and so could use the kind of language that he used in referring to Ms Asibi as a prostitute. As to whether Ms Asibi was an informant or not could best be deduced from the evidence so far before the Committee with consideration to the age of Ms Asibi, educational background, her experience in life and the dilemma that she found herself in, she could not have been the informant.

Source: GNA

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