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General News of Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Source: Daily Guide

NDC MP in court on human trafficking charges

National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate for Agona West Constituency in the Central Region, Ibrahim Zubairu was yesterday dragged before an Accra Circuit Court on charges of human trafficking.

The accused person, who was in the company of some security officer, was taken to the chambers of Mrs. Jennifer Myers-Ahmed where the case was heard.

The sitting lasted for just a few minutes and it is believed that his plea might have been taken or date was set for him to stand trial.

Court officials were not ready to talk to DAILY GUIDE when they were approached.

No counsel was seen with the accused as he and the officers went to the Judge's Chambers, Zubairu, a lecturer at Accra Polytechnic, is said to be in the business of receiving desperate Iraqis and sending them to Europe and America for a fee.

The human trafficking ring was recently busted by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS).

Sporting a striped shirt and dark trousers, the accused person looked unruffled as he smiled with the officers while trying to hide the handcuffs on his hands to avoid prying eyes of the media.

They later returned and sat in the courtroom after leaving the Judge's Chambers before being escorted back to the 26th February Road, also known as Cocoa Affairs Court cells where suspects and accused persons are normally kept in custody during trials.

His arrest was said to have caused panic in the party at the constituency as well as regional level as to who would succeed him as the members wait anxiously for his fate.

Divergent opinions have been expressed among NDC supporters on the issue with some clamouring for him to be replaced in order to avoid defeat, as the image of the party has been tainted by his alleged act.

Others however want the executives to wait for the outcome of the matter.

Even some of the supporters in the constituency who have been very skeptical about his bid to be an MP on the party's ticket have on condition of anonymity told DAILY GUIDE that Zubairu was not the man they wanted, and that he was imposed on them.

The Iraqis were said to have been smuggled into the country under cover of darkness through unapproved routes by three Ghanaians led by Ibrahim Zubairu.

His accomplices, one of them a travelling agent, are at large.

According to GIS, Zubairu and his cohorts were in the process of securing false documents for the Iraqis to travel abroad when intelligence information led to their arrest at Dzorwulu.

The accused and his accomplices, however, succeeded in securing false South African passports for the Iraqis.

The Iraqis told the officials of GIS upon their arrest at their Dzorwulu' hideout that they had paid $12,500 to their agents for the necessary documents to travel to Europe.

They were supposed to have travelled on December 26, 2007 but the trip was aborted.

'They were subsequently arrested and then deported to Syria where they had applied for refugee status.

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