An Accra Circuit Court has convicted Ofoulo Aboubacar Mohamed Jamal, a 20-year-old Malian for breaching restrictions on travels into the country.
Jamal was arrested by Immigration Officers at the Kambaa Immigration Inland Checkpoint in the Upper West Region for entering Ghana through an unapproved route during the pendency of imposition of restrictions on travels to Ghana.
He pleaded guilty for violating the Imposition of Restriction Act, 2020 (ACT 1012) and was sentenced on his own plea by the Court presided over by Mr. Emmanuel Essandoh to a fine of 2,000 penalty units (GH¢24,000.00) or in default serve four years in prison.
According to the prosecutor, Chief Superintendent of Immigration (CSI) Philip Andoh, the conviction secured against the Malian was good and hefty, and that, it would deter others from entering the country illegally.
“We pleaded with the court for stiffer punishment so as to deter others especially foreign nationals from breaching travel restrictions in this period of new normal”, he noted.
Jamal has paid the fine and has been handed over to the Operations Unit of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) for further action to be taken.
The facts, as presented by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), were that on 30th March, 2020, Jamal was arrested at Kambaa Immigration Checkpoint by personnel of the Upper West Regional Immigration Command for illegally entering into the country through unapproved route during the pendency of the Imposition of Restriction on travels to Ghana
According to the prosecution, Jamal was quarantined and examined for COVID-19 at the Wa General Hospital which proved negative. He was subsequently referred to the National Headquarters of the GIS in Accra for investigation.
The investigation revealed that Jamal had his wife and two children resident in Accra, and also trades in Sugar, maize and other related products.
The prosecution said prior to the imposition of restrictions on travels to Ghana by the Government to help curb the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, Jamal made a business trip to Mali in the month of March this year.
In his quest to enter the country, notwithstanding the restrictions imposed on travels, he engaged the services of a motor rider, popularly known as ‘Okada’ to convey him from the border of Burkina Faso to Ghana’s border through an unapproved route in Hamile in the Upper West Region. He continued with his journey to Accra but was arrested at the Kambaa Immigration Checkpoint at Nandom, also in the Upper West Region.
Jamal admitted to the offence after the investigation and was charged for violating the restrictions imposed on travels to Ghana.