DSP Tehoda remanded into Police custody

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mrs Gifty Mawuenyega Tehoda, the Senior Police Officer at the centre of the cocaine swapping scandal, was on Monday remanded into Police custody by an Accra Circuit Court.

This followed substitution of the charge against the accused by the prosecution.

The accused has pleaded not guilty to abetment of crime to wit, undertaking an activity relating to narcotic drugs.

Mr E.K. Vordoagu, Counsel for the accused, said the new charge brought against his client was an after-thought and in addition, the prosecution failed to attach the facts sheet to the case.

He said the charge levelled against the accused was based on ‘cooked’ facts which did not support the case, adding, “It is an attempt by the prosecution to maliciously persecute the accused”.

Defence counsel prayed the court to admit the accused to bail since the offence preferred against her was bailable.

Mr Anthony Rexford Wiredu, Chief State Attorney, prosecuting, rejected claims by defence counsel that the new charge brought against his client was an after- thought and no facts attached.

He said there was no law in Ghana which made it mandatory for the prosecution to provide fact sheets to the defence and that it could either be made in oral or print to the court.

Ms Audrey Kokuvi Tay, the Trial judge, said her hands were tied from granting bail to narcotic related offences by provisions in the criminal code, and subsequently adjourned the case to Monday, February 20.

Mr Wiredu presenting facts of the case, said DSP Tehoda was stationed at the Commercial Crime Unit, Police Headquarters in Accra.

He said Vice President John Dramani Mahama on December 4, 2011, directed the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) to investigate the loss of 1,020 grammes of cocaine tendered in evidence at an Accra Circuit Court on September 27, 2011, which was admitted without any objection in a case against Nana Ama Martins.

Mr Wiredu said on September 28, 2011, the Defence objected to the exhibit claiming it was not cocaine.

He said the prosecution would lead evidence to show that an uncle of Nana Ama Martins, one Yankey, and a sister of Nana Ama called Gyabaah Serwah, informed a witness that they had managed with the assistance of DSP Tehoda to change the cocaine into sodium bicarbonate after the trial judge refused to take GH¢5,000 as a bribe out of which he was to be given GH¢4,000 and GH¢1,000 to the Court Clerk; one Lawalni.

Mr Wiredu said there was evidence that one Beatrice Narh, a family member of Nana Ama Martins, confided in her (a witness) not to tell anyone about the role played by DSP Tehoda and others in the swapping exercise.

He said the witness stated that they contacted one lawyer Kombla Senanu and had to pay GH¢10,000 as legal fees but because Nana Ama Martins could not pay, her sister Serwah and others agreed to sell a house belonging to Nana Ama to pay for the legal fees and other expenses.

Mr Wiredu said DSP Tehoda and the uncle of Nana Ama Martins, one Yankey, spearheaded the process by sending the indenture on the property to the Lands Commission to assertion its validity and sale of the house after which the proceeds were given to DSP Tehoda.

He said DSP Tehoda invited lawyer Senanu on three occasions to her office and paid him the legal fees and informed him (Lawyer Senanu) that they had managed to swap the cocaine and turned it into sodium bicarbonate.

Mr Wiredu said after the second test which proved negative for cocaine and Nana Ama Martins was released, DSP Tehoda was seen jubilating in her office on that day.

He said the process of changing the cocaine into sodium bicarbonate was facilitated by DSP Tehoda and that was why she had been charged with abetment for undertaking an activity relating to narcotics.

Mr Wiredu prayed the court to remand DSP Tehoda into lawful custody for the prosecution to come properly before the Court.

Source: GNA

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