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General News of Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Source: GNA

Tagor's case adjourned

Accra, Dec. 6, GNA - An Accra Fast Track High Court hearing the case of Kwabena Amaning aka Tagor and Alhaji Issah Abass in a drug-related offence on Wednesday adjourned sitting to December 12. The adjournment followed the inability of a Prosecution Witness to appear before the Court to testify.

When the case was called Mr William Kpobi, a Principal State Attorney, informed the Court that he had asked the Witness, an analyst from the Ghana Standard Board, to be in Court at 0800 hours but he had not arrived by 1000 hours.

Mr Kpobi, therefore, prayed the court to adjourn the case. The Defence Team did not object to the request. The Court, therefore, adjourned the case at the instance of Prosecution.

The Court instructed the Prosecution to marshal all witnesses to ensure smooth hearing of the matter adding that it would not tolerate such instances. The Prosecution says it intends to call 10 witnesses to build its case.

Amaning, alias Tagor and Alhaji Abass, who were arrested after testifying at the Georgina Wood Committee, are in Police custody. The two, who are alleged self-confessed drug barons, are jointly charged for conspiracy.

Tagor has additionally been charged for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs; buying and supplying of narcotic drugs while Abass is also being held for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs and supplying narcotic drugs. They have pleaded not guilty before the Court presided over Mr Justice Jones Doste, a Court of Appeal Judge, who is sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge.

The case of the Prosecution is that the accused are self-confessed drug barons, who since 2004 have been actively engaged in activities of promoting and establishing various enterprises relating to narcotic drugs.

In the process, the accused persons purchased, supplied, paid and credited the drugs, which they further distributed outside and within the country.

The Prosecution said on April 26, 2006, MV Benjamin anchored in Tema breakwaters with 77 parcels of cocaine. However, 76 parcels were offloaded into two canoes, which landed at the Kpone Beach in the Greater Accra Region.

The Prosecution said the news of the 76 parcels got to people of the underworld and even the security agencies also had wind of it. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kofi Boakye invited them to a meeting in his house at Kanda in relation to the missing cocaine. At that meeting, the accused persons voluntarily confessed to their dealings in narcotic business and even boasted openly of previous activities.

The accused in the process also confessed openly that they had purchased drugs, supplied, credited and distributed drugs outside. The accused at ACP Kofi Boakye's house also agreed to locate the 76 parcels of cocaine seized and share it in furtherance of their business because the quantity of cocaine brought in by the MV Benjamin was too much for one person to enjoy.

The Government set up the Georgina Wood Committee to investigate some cocaine-related cases including the MV Benjamin case and alleged bribery of Senior Police Officers in a 588-kilo drug seized from some Venezuelans at East Legon in Accra.

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