Chinese Reject ECG Interpreter In Court
Two Chinese Nationals, who are facing prosecution before an Accra Financial Court for stealing electricity power running into thousands of Ghana Cedis belonging to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), have rejected an interpreter provided to give interpretations in court proceedings.
The interpreter, the Regional Engineer of ECG, introduced by the prosecution, Mr. Paul Assibi Abariga to the court, presided over by Justice Philip Bright Mensah was refused by the defense counsel, Mr. Kwaku Osei Asare.
Xie De Qi, a Director and Peng Peng, an Engineer, who reside at Achimota, a suburb of Accra, were accused of consuming electricity power between September 26, 2012, and February 13, 2013, amounting to GH¢20,439.80.
The accused persons, who are owners of an Accra-based Tai Heng Company Limited, are alleged to have bypassed the meter with electric cables and causing the meter not to read the electricity power consumed.
According to the defense counsel, if the interpreter from ECG is allowed to provide interpretations, his clients could come back later to deny whatever the interpreter may say, more so when he does not understand the Chinese language.
Mr. Asare noted that justice should be seen to be done and an interpreter coming from the prosecution may be biased.
The accused persons are facing three counts each of conspiracy, stealing and intentionally interfering or knowingly allow interference with ECG distribution system of power.
Their pleas had not yet been taken due to language barrier; however, the court has ordered the registrar of the court to expedite action on the provision of a Chinese interpreter in order for the case to proceed.
Meanwhile, each of the accused persons are on a bail condition of GH¢20,000 with one surety to be justified. The case was, therefore, adjourned to March 22, 2013.
The facts of the case are that, on February 13, this year, ECG received information that Xie De Qi and Peng Peng had been tempering with ECG gadgets and also stealing ECG power during the night.
Following the information received, a team of technicians led by the complainant, a Coordinator with the Revenue Protection Unit of ECG, Ishmael Tetteh Oku, went to the factory of the accused persons near Achimota Brewery Company at about 10.00pm.
According to the prosecution, the team entered the meter room and detected that part of the cables connected to the meter were “naked and bypassed from the meter rendering the meter unable to read power consumed in the factory belonging to the accused persons”.
They were therefore arrested and a bill of GH¢20,439.80 being power consumed illegally was imposed on them and they had since made payment to the ECG.
Additionally, a meter reader, Edward Yankey, resident in Ankaful, a suburb of Cape Coast in the Central Region, is also before the court for stealing nine master cards belonging to the ECG and restarting customers’ meters and illegally collecting various sums of money from them without permission.
Yankey was alleged to have illegally used ECG Master Card with an unlimited amount of units on it to restart the prepaid meter in the house of one Ekow Sackey in December 2012 and causing the meter not to read the power consumed after he stole the master cards some two years ago.
The accused person is facing two counts of stealing and intentionally interfering or knowingly allowing interference with ECG distribution system of power.
Yankey, who worked with Dankofac, an ECG contractor in Cape Coast was reported to the Commercial Officer of ECG Regional Office on February 11, this year that he had been tempering with the company’s prepaid meters belonging to its customers.
The accused person was said to have by-passed the prepaid meter following which he admitted the offence, when he invited for questioning by the Commercial Officer of ECG.
The accused person, thereafter, was led to the house of a witness and pointed at a meter he had tempered with.
Yankey was, therefore, arrested and during investigations, nine assorted ECG master cards with an infinite amount of units were retrieved from him.
He further admitted the offence in his investigation caution statement indicating that he stole the master cards from one company by name Ghana Electro Cash Company, a company he worked with two years ago, when the said company went to Cape Coast to programme ECG prepaid meters.
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