Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 19 February 2013
A 34-year-old businessman who has been posing as an aide to the National Security Advisor, General Nunoo Mensah, and in the process defrauding unsuspecting people, was last Friday arrested by personnel of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) in Accra.
Cletus Campion, who has been introducing himself to his victims as Mr. Richard Jakpa who is indeed the special aide to General Nunoo Mensah and was in position to assist them get appointed by the president to the positions of District Chief Executive, Deputy Minister or Minister, was arrested together with four of his accomplices while in the processes of defrauding the Managing Director of the Metro Mass Transit, Mr. Maxwell Awuku.
Briefing The Al-Hajj in his office after the arrest, Mr Justice A.Y. Tsar, Acting Deputy Executive Director of EOCO said the suspect, Cletus Campion, has for some time now been introducing himself to his victims claiming he is Mr Jakpa, special aide to Gen Nunoo Mensah and that he was capable of getting them appointed as Ministers or Deputy Minister for a fee, due to his closeness to the President.
According to the EOCO boss, his nefarious operations came to EOCO’s attention when one of his victims, Sidi Abubakar of FONKAR fame, who upon Campion’s instructions led a Chinese business delegation to the Osu Castle for a purported scheduled meeting with president John Mahama. Justice A.Y. Tsar said it was while waiting endlessly for Cletus ‘Jakpa’ Campion at the Castle outer reception that Sidi decided to call the office of the National Security Advisor to enquire of the supposed meeting with the president, where upon he was told the office, and indeed, Mr. Jakpa are not aware of any such meeting.
General Nunoo Mensah, according to him, after receiving a report on the matter and other complaints from some other people, reported the matter to EOCO who began investigations leading to the arrest of Cletus Campion and four of his accomplices.
The four who have since been bailed are Isaac Kwame Yamoah, 42, a carpenter and a native of Agona Swedru, Henry Lanyia Combat, 37, from Nyankpanduri who claims to be on attachment with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kwabena Kwarteng, 36, a phone dealer from Kumasi and 32 year old Moses Nyame Ashiagbor from Aflao.
Among their high profile victims is Agnes Naa Momo Lartey, the Presiding Member for the Ledzokuku Municipal Assembly, Mr. Sidi Abubakar, a former aide to the former president, Jerry John Rawlings, Mr. Mensah, Ledzokuku Municipal chief Executive and Mr. Maxwell Awuku of the Metro Mass Transit.
According to the EOCO boss, Cletus Campion’s modus operandi include fishing for people’s phone numbers through which he calls or sends text messages to them suggesting his ability to get one recommended for appointment with the president, and depending on the kind of appointment one is interested in, he prescribed a fee ‘to enable him work his way through’ which he directs his victims to pay into a designated account at the Barclays bank, High Street, Accra.
During one such transaction early last month, Sidi Abubakar was made to part with GHC6,000 in two installments which he paid into Cletus Campion’s bank account at Barclays with a promise of securing him appointment as Deputy Youth and Sports minister.
In the case of the managing director of the Metro Mass Transit, Mr. Awuku, the suspect, who demanded GHC5,000 to get him appointed Ghana’s Ambassador to South Africa delegated his four accomplices to go for the money during which time they were rounded up by EOCO officials.
The Ledzokuku Municipal Chief Executive and the Presiding Member, Mr. Mensah and Agnes Naa Momo Lartey, who were slated for the same position of deputy ministers for Local Government by the suspect, Cletus Campion, were however saved from parting with any money following his arrest by EOCO.
The suspect during interrogation at the EOCO offices, amidst laughter, blamed the victims of being too selfish “you see, the people (victims) too should have themselves to blame, why would they also buy into the bait… Can’t they also read in between the lines?"