Crime & Punishment of Monday, 7 March 2005
Koforidua, March 7, GNA - The case in which two staffs of the Electoral Commission (EC) in the Eastern Region are standing trial at a Koforidua High Court charged with two counts of conspiracy to steal and stealing more than 200 million cedis took a dramatic turn on Friday.
When the case was called, a Chief State Attorney, Mr Anthony Gyambiby told the Court that the Prosecution was asking for permission to amend the charge to negligently causing loss to the State under the Public Property Protection Decree 1977 (SMCD 140).
The Court, presided over by Mr Justice Tom Bentil granted the request and adjourned hearing to April 5.
The Court asked the Police to take the necessary steps to effect the change on the charge sheet before the next hearing date. The two EC staffs - Daniel Kankam, Kwahu South District Electoral Officer and Joseph Yeboah, Eastern Regional Chief Driver of the EC - have pleaded not guilty are on bail.
The Prosecution had earlier told the Court that, on December 17, 2004 after a meeting of District Electoral Officers at Koforidua, they were each given the allowances of the polling staffs of Election 2004 to go and pay them.
It said before the cheques were given to the officers to cash in Koforidua, the driver who accompanied Kankam from the Mpraeso Office, Mr Aikins Ayimadu was suddenly taken ill so he had to take the lead back home.
When the time came for Kankam to leave, he sought for a driver and Yeboah volunteered to drive him back.
The Prosecution said on their way to Mpraseo with a female staff of the Commission, Kankam asked for a detour to Oyoko, his hometown, to enable him to deposit a gas cylinder and take a bed.
When they reached a restaurant near Kukurantumi, Kankam again complained of hunger and asked that they should stop over for refreshment and the three of them got inside leaving the pick-up vehicle parked in front of the bar.
After the meals, Yeboah came out first and when the two others joined him and they were about to set off, they discovered that one of the front doors had been tampered with and an amount of 211,060,000 cedis had been stolen.