Amoateng Unwell

Eric Amoateng
The trial of the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng, in connection with an alleged fraudulent acquisition of a Ghanaian passport, has been adjourned to today.

This was after Charles Puozuing, counsel for the accused person, told an Accra Circuit Court   presided over by Mrs Ellen Vivian Amoah that the suspect was unwell.

The nature of his illness was however not disclosed and the trial judge had the case adjourned to today after an agreement was reached that the matter would be heard for two consecutive days.

The prosecuting officer, DSP Aidan Dery, is expected to bring the second witness to give evidence.

Ibrahim Issaka Lan-Gani, the Assistant Commissioner of Immigration at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), is the first witness in the case and has testified that before the introduction of the biometric passport, a person needed not be present to have the passport done for him or her.

He also stated that he wouldn’t know if the former MP could tell whether or not the passport was faked.

He however said it could be the case that the accused person expressed surprise when he informed him that the passport was fake because he didn’t know it was.

Puozuing put it to the witness that it was because he was a documents’ expert that he was able to detect that the tank track and picture had been tampered with, adding that but the accused person could not have known, to which he (the witness) said he could not tell.

The witness also said he could not tell whether or not a person could identify features on a passport to know whether it is fake.

In addition, the officer said he had been at KIA for three years and said there were occasions when persons were deported without him receiving documents on them when they arrived.

The witness told the court that he first counted the pages of the accused person’s passport and realised that the pages were intact, noting that the pages were 32.

In addition, he said a closer look at the passport indicated that the photo was substituted and the third digit and readable zone were not correct.

Furthermore, he said the tank tracking of the passport had double track instead of single, indicating that someone had worked on the picture.

Amoateng, a teacher and farmer, had spent over seven years in the United States of America (USA), where he was jailed in connection with heroin-related offences.

By Fidelia Achama

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