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General News of Thursday, 31 July 2003

Source: GNA

Appeal against illegal water connection dismissed

Accra, July 31, GNA - An Accra High Court on Thursday described a three-month sentence imposed on Francis Katele, a Landlord, for abetting illegal connection of water to his house, as too lenient and dismissed an appeal against it.

The Court, presided over by Mr Justice Yaw Appau, said the trial judge at the lower court, Mrs Ivy Heward-Mills was too lenient to have imposed a three-month sentence on the convict, as he would have sentenced to two years' imprisonment.

Katele, who was represented by his Counsel, Mr Akwasi Bosumpem, was appealing against a three-month-sentence imposed on him by the Madina District Court.

Mr Justice Appau noted that the offence committed by Katele was unpardonable as the Ghana Water Company was loosing huge sums of monies through illegal connections.

He said the company was battling with the problems of illegal connection and stated that such behaviours should not be tolerated at all and, therefore, dismissed the appeal.

On July 11 the Madina District Magistrate's Court sentenced Katele, who pleaded guilty, to three months' imprisonment for abetting to illegal connection from a main pipeline to his house.

His accomplice, Edward Teiku, who connected the pipe to the house was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment with hard labour.

The evidence before the court was that the complainant was the District Manager for North Ridge branch of the Ghana Water Company Limited, Mrs Cynthia Ackah while Katele was a Landlord at Dome while Teiku was a plumber.

Teiku, who also posed as a staff of the Ghana Water Company, connected water to Katele's house from the main pipeline after he had paid 900,000 cedis for registration and was provided with a meter.

Upon a tip off, staff of the Ghana Water Company went to disconnect Katele's pipeline but Teiku reconnected Katele it.

On May 16 Mrs Ackah and the Police went to disconnect the line again and arrested the two.

During Police investigation, it came to light that, Teiku was not an employee of the company and he refunded the money he collected.