Items filtered by date: Sunday, 09 May 2021 - WonsoKabiRadio.Com

The Criminal Division of the Accra High Court has ordered a former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni, and a businessman, Seidu Agongo, to open their defence.

The court, presided over by Justice Clemence Honyenuga, gave the order yesterday after it dismissed a submission of no case filed by the two accused persons.

Dr Opuni and Agongo, the CEO of Agricult Ghana Limited, are on trial for allegedly engaging in illegalities in a series of fertiliser transactions which the Attorney-General (A-G) says caused a financial loss of GH¢271.3 million to the state.

They were dragged to court by the A-G in March 2018 on 27 charges, including willfully causing financial loss to the state, defrauding by false pretence, contravention of procurement laws, corruption of a public officer and money laundering.

Submission of no case

In support of its case, the prosecution called seven witnesses and presented a series of documents.

After the prosecution rested, the accused persons decided to exercise their rights by filing a submission of no case under Section 173 of the Criminal and Other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30).

Section 173 of Act 30 allows a trial court to acquit an accused person if the court concludes that the prosecution had failed to make a case sufficient enough for the accused person to open his defence.

Lawyers for the accused persons had argued that the prosecution failed to make any prima facie case against their clients to warrant them to open their defence.

 

 

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State prosecutors have dragged the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of K. Ofori Limited and three others to court for allegedly evading tax to the tune of GH¢1.6 billion since 2013.

Frank Kwadwo Ofori, together with Hani Mikati, Marwam Hamwi and Sallam Mohammed Gharib, all officials of United Steel Company, were slapped with conspiracy to commit crime, namely fraudulent evasion of tax when they appeared before an Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Ms Afua Owusua Appiah last Thursday.

K. Ofori Limited with headquarters in Accra and branches in many parts of the country deals in building materials while United Steel Company is a steel fabrication company in Tema.

Not guilty

The accused persons have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been granted bail in the sum of GH¢1 million each with three sureties to be justified.

As part of the bail conditions, they are to deposit their passports at the court’s registry.

They have also been directed to report to the police every two weeks.

They will reappear in court on June 8, this year.

Facts

 

Presenting the facts of the case, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr Sylvester Asare said earlier this year, the security agencies picked up information regarding the unlawful activities of the accused persons including fraudulent evasion of tax and money laundering.

He said further intelligence revealed that the officers of United Steel Company developed a scheme apparently to evade taxes and disguised the proceeds in Ghana and abroad.

ASP Asare said pursuant to the preceding scheme and to facilitate the unlawful activities, Ofori incorporated a company by name Kwadwo Boakye Enterprise (KBE), which was made an agent for United Steel Company.

Consequently, the prosecution said, surveillance was mounted on the activities of the accused persons and on April 29, this year, they were picked up.
During a search at the offices of the United Steel Company and the residence of Mikati, about 15 signed cheque books without face value from five separate banks in the name of KBE were found.

The prosecutor said preliminary investigations established that the accused persons, through their unlawful activities, had fraudulently evaded taxes to the tune of GH¢1.6 billion between 2013 and April 2021 and had concealed and disguised the proceeds into investments in the country and abroad.

 

 

 

Published in Politics

Soldiers have been deployed to remove all persons engaged in mining in water bodies in Ghana in the second phase of Operation Halt II.

The new phase of the operation is focusing on the tributaries of the Pra river which have also been significantly affected by the activities of illegal miners.

The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah made this known in a press statement dated May 7, 2021 and issued Friday afternoon.

The first phase of the operation, which was ordered by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and started on April 28, 2021 led to the arrest of two Chinese nationals and the seizure and destruction of equipment which were being used for illegal mining.

Unlike last week's first phase of the operation where 200 soldiers were deployed, this time around, the operation is being undertaken by 400 men all ranks.

"The public is advised to stay away from mining in water bodies to avoid any action by the forces," the Minister of Information advised.

The Ghana Armed Forces has commenced a second phase of Operation Halt II aimed at removing all persons and logistics involved in mining on water bodies.

The new phase of the operation focuses on the tributaries of the Pra river which have also been significantly affected by the activities of illegal miners.

 

The Ghana Armed Forces has also commenced armed patrols of the Pra river itself.

The operation is being undertaken by four hundred (400) men all ranks. The public is advised to stay away from mining in water bodies to avoid any action by the forces.

 

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