General News of Monday, 13 October 2003
On the evening of July 24, this year, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Lower West Akim, Mr. Peter Kweku Amoabeng, made a snappy backtrack to Ghana, following a failed criminal boondoggle in Abidjan which caused great embarrassment to Parliament, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ghana Embassy in Abidjan and the government of Ghana.
The Chronicle can report that the MP was involved in an orgy of fraud in which he made misrepresentations to Parliament, an Accra High Court, the Judicial Service, the Foreign Ministry and the Ghana Mission in Abidjan, resulting in the issuance of letters from these institutions to support his dubious application for a visa.
The honourable member, knowing that his fraudulent escapade could cost him his political career, arrived in Ghana very confused and admitted to “behaving stupidly” when The Chronicle spoke to him.
The paper’s trail began on July 21, this year when it sighted a letter from the Office of Parliament to the Austrian Embassy in Cote d’Ivoire, asking for visa assistance for Hon. Amoabeng and his wife, Jane Amoabeng, and two children, Yaa Amoabeng and James Amoabeng.
There is evidence confirmed by an admission by the MP that his claim that Janet Amoabeng and the two kids were his wife and children was a lie.
The letter from Parliament, which was signed by Kenneth E. K. Tachie, Clerk to Parliament said: “ The Office of Parliament of the Republic of Ghana has the honor to request the Embassy of Austria to issue an Entry Visa to Honorable Peter Kwaku Amoabeng, member for Lower Akim, to enable him travel for a short visit.
“He will be accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Jane Amoabeng and children. Please find attached their Passports and duly completed Visa application forms.”
Four months before the Office of Parliament issued this letter, a certain Joseph Amoabeng, using the residential address of the MP and one Samuel Ofori, posed as parents of the MP and the supposed Mrs. Janet Amoabeng and made a fraudulent statutory declaration before an Accra High Court, saying that the two were married under customary law.
The declaration, filed on February 24, 2003, said: “ We Joseph Amoabeng of P.O. Box 301, Dansoman, Accra and house number A 32 SSNIT Flat Road, Dansoman and Samuel Ofori Atta of P.O. Box 112, Kaneshie and house number 1580/20, West Kaneshie Accra in the Greater Accra region of the Republic of Ghana do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare as follows:
“That we are the fathers of Peter Kweku Amoabeng who was born on the 1st May, 1935 in Accra and Jane Ofori Atta who was born February, 1961, in Accra and do represent them in all matters that affect them.
“That we confirm that on 10th May, in Accra, our said son and daughter got married according to Ghanaian customary Marriage Laws and Usages which ceremony was witnessed by the principal members of both families, in the year 1979. That the marriage was recommended as lawful and genuine after the Customary Rites had been performed. Wherefore we make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and correct by virtue of the provision of the Statutory Declarations Act 389 of 1971”
As a result of this misrepresentation, the Deputy Judicial Secretary, Mr. Nicholas Charles Abbey Agbevor, and Mr. Ebenezer Appreku, Acting Director, Legal and Consular Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, certified the declaration as a recognized document with legal effect.
Armed with these documents, the MP travelled with his supposed wife and children to Abidjan and convinced the Ghana Embassy to issue another letter of support for him to get the entry visa for his so-called family.
Chronicle investigations revealed that when the Member of Parliament and his family presented their visa forms on July 24, this year to the Austrian Embassy in Abidjan, the embassy conducted a search from an EU visa database which showed that a certain Hon. Peter Kwaku Amoabeng, MP for Lower West Akim, and his wife had been issued with a schengen visa at the Italian Embassy on June 21, 2003.
Even though the MP told the Italian Embassy that he was travelling with his wife, he never did and that his wife never returned to Ghana after the expiry of her tourist visa. EU Intelligence sources told The Chronicle that the last time the woman visited Ghana, was last Christmas.
EU sources have confirmed that the MP used the exact details of his wife, who is called Jane and who is currently living, as an illegal immigrant in Italy, to process another passport for the pretender Janet Amoabeng. The date of birth, place of birth, age and name of both the MP’s real wife and his fake wife were given as the same. What gave them away was the picture in the passport and the passport number, which were inevitably different.
The passport number that the MP’s real wife used to obtain the visa at the Italian Embassy on February 26, this year was H1059729, while the one used by the fake Jane Amoabeng at Austrian Embassy was H1135390.
Following these inconsistencies, The Chronicle gathered that the Austrian Embassy decided to interview the MP and his family separately and which later revealed that the woman whom the MP claimed was his wife did not know much about him.
According to Chronicle sources at the Ghana Embassy, the fake Jane Amoabeng told the Austrian Embassy that she had never travelled to Europe. She insisted that her husband (The MP) studied Economic Science and that she is the only wife of the MP. The children, who were presented to the embassy as the MP’s children, hardly knew each other and knew nothing about the MP, except the fact that he is an MP.
Mr. Amoabeng himself did not have even a rough idea of where in Austria he was going to visit and why he and his supposed family were embarking on the trip, except that he wanted to go to Austria to see how Austria has developed.
Meanwhile, The Chronicle has learnt that the MP’s real children, who are twins, are in their 40s and live outside the country.
When The Chronicle tracked down the MP at his Dansoman residence, he confirmed the story and muttered under his breath: “ I have made a fool of myself.”