The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Candidate for Effutu in the Central Region has been dragged before the Winneba District Court for stealing one hundred thousand Cedis GH¢100,000.
The accused, Dr. James Kofi Annan, 46, a Social Entrepreneur is said to have between February 5th and 12th this year at the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) North Campus Branch dishonestly appropriated the said amount.
It is the case of the prosecution led by Ms. Dorinda Azumah that the said amount which was fraudulently transferred into his GCB account number 3051120002103 belongs to one Benjamin Ackah.
Dr. Annan is also in the dock with one Anthony Nyan, 40, Mason for conspiring to steal the stated amount between February 5 and 10, 2020 at Winneba.
The police are on the heels of one John Banafo who is currently at large.
Appearing in the sparsely populated court presided over by Isaac Ohene Kuffour on Friday, the two accused persons vehemently denied the charges preferred against them.
Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe, lawyer for the accused persons told the court that although John Bananfo has been charged, he has been excluded from the conspiracy charge by the prosecution.
He said from the prosecution’s own facts the transfer of the said amount was done by John Bananfo, wondering why Dr. Anann should rather be charged for stealing.
Dr. Annan’s lawyer argued that it is impossible for someone to transfer such an amount from someone’s account without consulting the account holder, insisting such a thing cannot happen in today Ghana.
Mr. Tamakloe stated that the police have also failed to indicate to court if they have spoken to the bank or who might have done the transfer adding “the police have done a shoddy work, the reason is best known to them.”
“You don’t treat a citizen of this country that way even if he is your enemy; it can happen to anyone. The case is scandalous, the whole case is a scheme to tarnish the image of James and this should not happen to anyone” the lawyer noted.
The senior lawyer said Dr. Annan does not know John Bananfo wondering how one can conspire with somebody he does not know.
Mr. Tamakloe stated that from the prosecutions charge sheet Dr. Annan has not committed any offence and that for a charge of stealing to stand one has to demonstrate taking.
He added: “even the charge has to be summarily a dismissed; the charge is defective and cannot be cured even with legal arguments.”
The lawyer urged the court to grant Dr. Annan a self-recognizance bail insisting his client is a businessman known to the community, stressing that “this is a man all other persons have conspired to disgrace, if the court wants to know, he is the NDC’s Parliamentary Candidate for the Constituency and won’t run and leave the seat over this frivolous charge.”
But the prosecution disagreed with the submission of the defense lawyer noting that the police are professionals doing their work.
Ms. Azumah said the police are not agents of any political party or aligned to any political party but rather acted on the compliant of the complainant in the matter.
Touching on the supposed defectiveness of the charge, she disclosed that the prosecution will amend the charge sheet, a reason the court ought not to dismiss the case of the prosecution.
The prosecutor said the police have advanced investigations to arrest the third accused.
The trial magistrate in granting the bail urged the prosecution to be well prepared and that the nature of the case is not one that should be rushed.
He stated that the prosecution has a lot of work to do and accordingly admitted John Banafo to bail in the sum of GH¢10,000 with one surety while Dr. Annan was granted self-recognizance bail.
Hearing continues on April 21, 2020.