Crime & Punishment of Friday, 20 June 2014
Six Nigerians have been arrested for allegedly forging letterheads of the Office of the President and other state institutions to defraud people.
They are Paul Kelvin, 20; Wallace Darden Odon, 28; Osamidiamwen Ikecheku Emeka, 24; Prince Ejime, 19; Charles Chinedu, 32, and Adebayoo Alaba Saheed, 21.
They are all unemployed.
They have since been charged with forging documents and signatures and posing as state officials, and because they gave false names to the police during interrogation, they have also been charged with deceit of public officers.
Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Accra Regional Crime Officer, Chief Superintendent of Police Mr Paul Kontomah, said the suspects were arrested in a house at Ayensu Estate, near Adenta in Accra, on June 9, 2014.
Among the letters retrieved from the suspects was one directing a former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to take his compulsory leave for Mr Mohammed Alhassan, the current IGP, to take over the position.
There were also certificates signed by the Minister of the Interior, Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, to prove the origins of some American citizens, as well as High Court disclaimer forms.
Arrested while browsing
Mr Kontomah said the police, acting on intelligence that the young men were involved in criminal activities, swooped on them in the early hours of June 9 “and we found them busy browsing the Internet in their room with laptops”.
He said prior to the arrest of the suspects, residents of the area had filed complaints with the police that a group of young men in the house had been harassing them in the night.
On the day of the arrest, the police retrieved eight laptops and a search on them led to the retrieval of a number of forged documents from state institutions, including forged ones from the Office of the President, the High Court, the Ghana Police Service, the Value Added Tax division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, among other institutions.
He said the suspects used the documents to facilitate illegal electronic transaction and lure people to part with money.
It was also found that the men posed as military officers of the United States of America in war zones to defraud people.
In addition to the eight laptops retrieved from the suspects, a quantity of dried substances believed to be Indian hemp was also found on them.
IGP’s appointment letter
One of the letters on the letterhead of the Office of the President and purportedly signed by Dr Raymond A. Atuguba, the Executive Secretary to the President, read: “His Excellency the President has given approval for Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye, the Inspector-General of Police, to commence his compulsory 90-day terminal leave from February 5-4 May 2013.
“He has further directed that Mr Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, is to act as Inspector-General of Police until further notice.
“On behalf of the people of Ghana, His Excellency the President wishes to thank Mr Quaye for the invaluable services he rendered to the state during his career and especially his tenure of office as Inspector-General of Police.”