Ex-Best Farmer Before CourtFor Buying Stolen Goods

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Agro Tropics Ghana Limited, Philip Abayori, and five others are currently standing trial before the Accra Circuit Court “2” for various charges.

Two of the accused persons, Eric Nana Ebo Aikins (A1) and Francis Mantey (A2), both traders, were charged for stealing building materials worth GH¢1,503,316.22 belonging to Eric Johnson, CEO of Intermerc Ghana Limited,.

Mr. Abayori (A3), who is also President of the National Farmer and Fishermen Winners Association Ghana, and three other accused persons – Emmanuel Ayisadu (A4), Richmond Voegborlo (A5) and Mohammed Shaibu (A6) – were also charged with dishonestly receiving stolen goods.

The court, presided over by Justice Mrs. Ruby Naa Adoley Quasion, yesterday granted bail to the accused persons, after they pleaded not guilty to the charges, though A1 and A2 earlier admitted to the crime during police interrogations.

However, A1 and A2 were granted bail in the sum of GH¢1.5 million with four sureties each to be justified, while A3, A4 and A5 were bailed in the sum of GH¢150,000 with two sureties each. One of the sureties must be a salaried worker receiving not less than GH¢1,000 a month.

The court further issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Mohammed Shaibu (A6) for not appearing before it. The case has been adjourned to March 1, 2016. Presenting the facts of the case before the court yesterday, the Prosecutor, Chief Superintendent (C/Supt) Tuaruk Duuti, indicated that A1 is a close associate of the complainant, Eric Johnson, CEO of Intermerc Ghana Limited located at Tesano for the past ten years, and had been his (Complainant) Supervisor, managing various projects for him.

In 2010, upon the instruction of the complainant, A1 employed A2 and two others to mould blocks for him (complainant) at his warehouse at Abelemkpe, a suburb of Accra, for the construction of a six-storey hotel building at Dzorwulu, he noted.

The Prosecutor stated that during the period, the complainant deposited 215.1 tonnes of iron rods, estimated at the cost of GH¢521,520.00; 2,492 metres of electrical cables worth GH¢715,168, and 57,999 pieces of sandcrete blocks of various sizes and types valued at GH¢315,168 totaling GH¢1,584,502, and other building materials for safe keeping at his warehouse.

“Complainant then handed over the warehouse keys to A1, Eric Nana Ebo Aikins, as the supervisor. After one year of moulding the blocks, A2 Francis Mantey was again employed by A1, Eric Nana Ebo Aikins, upon the instruction of the complainant, as caretaker of the warehouse.  A2 was, however, accommodated together with his family in the premises of the warehouse to ensure the safe keeping of the building materials, he explained.

On February 1, 2016, the complainant sent a witness in this case to the warehouse, and on his arrival, he discovered that almost all the building materials had been stolen, C/Supt Tuaruk Duuti continued.

According to the Prosecutor, the complainant was immediately informed, and he rushed to the warehouse, where he discovered that the building materials had indeed been stolen.

C/Supt Tuaruk Duuti continued that after the complainant took stock of his items, he realised iron rods valued at GH¢504,520.22, sandcrete materials worth GH¢253,074 and electrical cables, estimated at GH¢745,722, all totaling at GH¢1,503,316.22, had been stolen from the warehouse.

He added: “The complainant reported the case to the police. In the course of the investigations, A1, Eric Nana Ebo Aikins, and A2, Francis Mantey, were arrested from their various hideouts for investigation.

“A1 and A2, in the course of the investigations admitted the offence in their caution statements, and stated having stolen the building materials on different occasions and sold it to many people that include A3-Philip Abayori, A4-Emmanuel Ayisadu, A5-Richmond Voegborlo and A6-Mohammed Shaibu.

“A1 and A2, however, led the police to the arrest of A3, A4, A5 and A5, but could not arrest the remaining suspects. After investigations, the accused persons were charged with the respective offence and arraigned before this honorable court.”

By Bernice Bessey

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