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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 31 May 2007

Source: GNA

Former KMA staff, four others charged with stealing

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Kumasi, May 31, GNA- Five persons, including a former staff of the Traffic Enforcement Unit of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), on Wednesday appeared before a circuit court at Kumasi, charged with stealing.

Saliu Musah, alias Sammy Adjei, the former KMA staff, Alhaji Mohammed Suraji, a carpenter, Sulemana Alhassan, driver and Osmanu Musah, also a driver were facing two counts of conspiracy and stealing. Alhaji Sumaila Ibrahim, a mechanic was charged with dishonestly receiving an articulator trailer worth 200 million cedis stolen by the four other accused persons.

Saliu and Alhaji Suraji pleaded guilty to the two charges and were convicted to a fine of 10 million cedis each or in default they will serve a five-year prison term each with hard labour. Sulemana, Osmanu and Sumaila on the other hand pleaded not guilty and each was granted a 200 million cedis bail with a surety each to be justified.

The case was adjourned to June 14 this year for hearing. Assistance Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kufuor Boateng, told the court presided over by Mr Ernest Yao Obimpeh that, the complainant, Imurana Tahiru was a transport owner living at New Suame in Kumasi. He said somewhere in last year, the complainant parked his articulator trailer valued over 200 million cedis at the premises of the Aboabo M/A primary school and traveled to Mali.
ASP Boateng said the complainant returned in two months time to find out that the trailer had been towed to the Asokwa sub metro offices of the KMA.
He said after enquiries the complainant was asked by officials of the assembly to pay two million cedis as penalty for parking the trailer at an unauthorized place.
The prosecutor said the complainant made part payment of one million cedis and promised to pay the rest later.
He said on March 20, this year, at about 1500 hours, Saliu Musah, who was then working with the KMA, secured the services of Alhaji Suraji to disguise himself as the owner of the vehicle so as to sell it. Salui also contacted Sulemana and Osmanu to advertise for prospective buyers and they obliged.
The Prosecutor said Alhaji Sumaila, who was a next-door neighbour of Saliu expressed interest in buying the trailer at 60 million cedis including the KMA penalty charges of 9 million cedis.
ASP Boateng said Sumaila, Saliu and Suraji prepared a fictitious indenture on the transaction and sold the vehicle and shared the booty. The prosecutor said the complainant after fruitless search later came to identify the trailer which had then been repaired and transformed. The complainant reported the matter to the police and the accused persons were arrested.
They confessed selling the trailer and refunded 26 million cedis to the police while the trailer was impounded and the accused persons charged with the offence. 31 May 07

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