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General News of Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Source: GNA

Court sets October 17 to give ruling on NACOB cocaine case

Accra, Oct. 5, GNA - An Accra Circuit Court hearing the case involving Abubakar Nallah, CEO of Tudu Mighty Jets Football Club and nine other officials of Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) has set October 17, to give its ruling. This follows an application filed by the defence at both the Circuit Court and Human Rights Court for the accused persons to be granted unconditional bail.

Mr Eric Kyei Baffour, the trial judge, adjourned the case to October 17, for ruling on the application. Abubakar Nallah aka Abu Sundoko and nine officials of NACOB are on trial for alleged narcotic related offences. They are Fatimatu Abdulai, Dennis Adutwum Gyimah, Yakubu Issaka, Timothy Aboloimpo and Peter Ansong. The rest are Mutawakilu Yahaya Iddi, Jerry John Kwesi Abbiw, Eric Darko Akuffo and Nana Zamsah Evrah.

The accused persons have pleaded not guilty to abetment in the importation and exportation of narcotic drugs. Mr Anthony Rexford Wiredu, Chief State Attorney told the court that the Attorney General's Department received a copy of the docket on the accused persons on Tuesday but was not legible. He said under the criminal procedure amendment code of Act 714, people involved in narcotic drugs issues could not be granted bail, and prayed the court to give the prosecution enough time to continue with its investigations and start the case. Mr Ellis Owusu Fordjour, Counsel for Peter Ansong and Eric Darko Akuffo prayed the court that the continuous detention of the accused persons was a violation of their human rights. He argued that the court must be convinced by the prosecution under the law that the rights of the suspects were not being trampled upon. Mr Peter Abia-Duker, Counsel for Timothy Aboloimpo said the charge preferred by the prosecution against the accused did not support the case.

He said the facts of the case showed that the accused persons did not have any incriminating evidence against them. "So far as we are concerned, we believe that the AG has nothing incriminating against our clients," he added. Mr Abia-Duker challenged the court to determine whether or not there was enough weight in the argument of the prosecution for the continuous detention of the accused persons.

Facts of the case are that sometime in July this year, a suspected narcotic drug dealer, who has been on the wanted list in the US, was arrested at Dansoman in Accra, and during investigations text messages were allegedly received from Fatimatu on his cell phone. The text messages revealed that Fatimatu of the Procurement Unit of NACOB had been aiding the suspected drug dealer and others to import and export narcotic drugs through Kotoka International Airport. Fatimatu was arrested and during interrogations admitted the offence, and mentioned some NACOB officials and personnel of other security agencies, including the accused persons, as accomplices who compromised their positions and allowed drug couriers safe passage after receiving various sums of money from them. 5 Oct. 11

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