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Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 24 February 2022

Source: GNA

Metro Mass security coordinator gets 10 years for extortion

File photo of a person behind bars File photo of a person behind bars

An Accra Circuit Court has sentenced a security coordinator of the Metro Mass Transit Company Limited (MMTL) to ten years imprisonment for extorting GHC 40,000.00
from the former Managing Director of the Company.

Lawal Fuseini denied conspiring with one Bawa to extort the money from Mr. Bennet Aboagye and pleaded not guilty to unlawful entry and extortion but was found culpable after trial.

Meanwhile, Bawa, his accomplice, is on the run.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Nyamekye told the Court that Mr. Aboagye, the complainant, was the former Managing Director of MMTL whilst Fuseinu, the convict, was the Security Coordinator of the Company.

The prosecution said on March 15, 2018, the convict requested a meeting with the complainant and his Personal Assistant citing a security breach in the Company’s agenda.

It said the complainant could not make it to the meeting and asked his Personal Assistant to meet the convict and during the meeting, Fuseinu informed the complainant's Personal Assistant that he had received a phone call from Bawa and his group requesting to meet him (Fuseini).

The prosecution said the convict allegedly went to meet Bawa and his group.

It said the group claimed it had a damaging audio recording of the complainant's conversation implicating him in several corrupt deals and demanded one million dollars from the complainant to destroy the audio recording.

It said the convict threatened that if the complainant refused to comply with Bawa, he would give the audio recording to the print and electronic media for publication.

The prosecution said later when the complainant and his Personal Assistant made it to a meeting at the behest of Fuseini, he handed over to him a transcript of the said audio recording and reiterated his demand on behalf of Bawa.

It said the complainant detected the ploy by Fuseini to blackmail and
extort money from him and decided to play along.

The prosecution said the complainant involved a witness he considered an expert in security in the case, who invited the complainant and Fuseini to his office and renegotiated the amount of one million dollars demand to GHC20,000.00 in exchange for the said damaging audio recording.

It said Fuseini refused the new offer but later settled on GHC 40,000.00.

The prosecution said on the morning of March 17, 2018, the complainant’s wife found a scanned copy of a Criminal Check report he had obtained at the CID Headquarters and kept it at his office for travelling on their compound.

On the scanned copy of the Criminal Check report was a threatening message, which read: "Mr. BENNET, you think you are smart, before Monday, March 19, 2018, let's hear your new offer and not the GHC 40,000.00 you told the security guy at the State House or else don't even dare go to China."

"Because you know Chinese Government do not take lightly with issues of corruption. Just like how we overwhelmed your security coordinator, you will soon get cardiac arrest from mental trauma. We
will offer the Chinese Government for free, what we have. Be warned."

The prosecution said the complainant, therefore, reported the case to
the Police and the convict was arrested after the GHC 40,000,00 was paid in two installments.

The convict in his cautioned statement admitted being the brain behind the recordings, the demand for the money, and receipt of the GHC 40,000.00 from the complainant to stop the leakage of the recordings to the media with the aid of Bawa after an earlier denial.

However, Fuseini insisted he took that decision to secretly record the complainant's conversation to get evidence of corruption deals by the complainant and his Personal Assistant to be given to the Special Prosecutor.

He has failed to account for the GHC40,000.00 he extorted from the complainant and as well as failed to lead the Police to Bawa.

Police investigations revealed that the Company, MMTL, had a common room where all keys to the various offices were kept.

Fuseini, therefore, unlawfully accessed the complainant's office, planted a recorder, picked his Police Check Report, scanned, and inserted the threatening message.

The prosecution also found that Fuseini managed to drop the said document at the complainant's residence to coerce him into paying the money.

Investigations also uncovered that Fuseini, after receiving the GHC40,000.00 lodged same in his ADB accounts on May 05, 2018, and subsequently withdrew GHC 1000.00 and GHC 39,000.00 on May 19 and 21 2018, respectively.

After investigation Fuseini person was arraigned.