Banker in court for allegedly defrauding importer

A staff of Prudential Bank, Abiba Seidu, 33, and her fiancée, Atilley Eli Solomon, 38 and a businessman, are facing 10 criminal counts at an Accra Circuit Court for allegedly defrauding a Software Engineer and an importer off a total sum of GH¢255,000.00.

The ‘loved birds’ are, therefore, answerable to four charges of conspiracy to commit crime, two counts of defrauding by false pretences, and the rest on forgery of official and other documents.

Ms Seidu and her fiancée have pleaded not guilty to the charges and been granted bail in a total amount of GH¢400,000.00, with four sureties to be justify by title documents, of which the official originals are to be deposited with the Court Registry till the end of the trial.

The court, presided over by Mrs. Susana Eduful, yesterday, prior to the granting of the bail, was informed by the prosecuting officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ACP) Evans Kesse, that the accused persons not just collected the said monies from the complainants – Francis Miah and Paul Sefah – but also issued fake receipts to them.

ASP Kesse told the court in details that on July 10, 2020, Abiba requested for a loan of GH¢5,000.00 from her colleague, one Derek Prince Mensah, to be given to her fiancée, but the colleague could not be of help.

However, he said Dereck, instead, pleaded with complainant Francis Miah (Software Engineer) to assist Abiba, for which on July13, 2020, Francis met Atilley and gave him the GH¢5,000.00.

The Prosecutor said, as part of the accused person’s scheme, Atilley subsequently told Francis that Elan Transport and Logistics Limited, a company he owned with Abiba, had a contract with Nana Kwaku Duah and Sons Limited for the haulage of limestone from Oterkpolu to Wangkang Company in Takoradi, and that they needed partners who could invest in the alleged business for profit sharing.

He further narrated to the court that France was later invited to a series of meetings, and during these meetings, the accused persons gave the complainant projections indicating the amount of profit he would benefit from his investment in their company.

According to him, based on the projections, Francis expressed interest in the supposed business and was given the said company’s CBG Bank account number 030650610001 after they (accused persons) had succeeded in convincing him to invest in it.

ASP Kesse added that on August 18, 2020, Francis transferred GH¢50,000.00 into the said account as his investment in the company’s alleged business contract with Nana Kwaku Duah and Sons.

Subsequently, the prosecuting officer stated that on August 20, 2020, the complainant transferred an additional GH¢50,000.00 into the said account for the supposed business.

He also indicated to the court that after the accused persons had collected the said amount of monies from Francis, they continued to demand more money from him, saying, “complainant Francis Miah, who could not organise additional money, informed his friend, Paul Sefah, the second complainant, about the alleged business transaction.”

According to him, Paul Sefah also expressed interest in the supposed business after having met Abiba and her fiancée in a series of meetings.

Without delay, on September 22, 2020, Paul transferred GH¢150,000.00 into the Elan Transport and Logistics Limited CBG account number 030650610001 on the instructions of the accused persons.

“However, the accused persons failed to invest the various monies collected from the complainants in the supposed business,” he added.

He said when the complainants became alarmed and demanded proof that their monies were actually invested in the business, the accused persons presented to them forged Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Value Added Tax (VAT) and National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) invoice No. 15/9809560 with a face value of GH¢202,601.13, purported to have been issued to them by Nana Kwaku Duah, Chief Executive Officer of Nana Kwaku Duah and Sons Limited, to be taken to Wangkang Company for payment in respect of the business between their company, Elan Transport and Logistics Limited and JAD Haulage Company Limited for the latter to provide the former the trucks to be used in the alleged haulage business.

ASP Kesse stated that the accused persons went as far as presenting to the complainants two forged receipts with serial numbers 0000011 and 0000054, with face values of GH¢25,000.00 and GH¢50,000.00 respectively, purported to have been issued by JAD Haulage Company Limited for payments made to the company for the release of the trucks to be used in the alleged haulage business.

The court was told that the complainants became suspicious and reported the matter to the police and Abiba was arrested, but her fiancée initially absconded.

The Prosecutor said Atilley was latter arrest, and in his caution statement to the police, admitted having collected various sums of money from the complainants, but insisted that they were invested in the limestone haulage business through Nana Kwaku Duah and Sons Limited.

Meanwhile, he indicated that Abiba, on the other hand, in spite of her continuous involvement right from the onset of the meetings, who created a WhatsApp group in respect of the alleged business, acknowledging receipts of payments and even giving updates on the platform, denied any knowledge of the crime and indicated that she was only a witness to the transaction.

ASP Kesse added that during investigations, Abiba petitioned the Attorney-General’s (A-G) Department for alleged intimidation, harassment, conflict of interest, bias and unfair treatment by the Dansoman Divisional Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

He added that the Attorney-General’s Department requested a duplicate case docket which was forwarded to it.

After studying the duplicate case docket, the A-G directed that the accused person be charged with the offences of defrauding by false pretences forgery of official documents, and forgery of other documents.

He noted that the accused persons, however jumped police enquiry bail, and a forfeiture of recognisance was filed in court.

APS Kesse added that on April 11, 2022, Abiba reported at the police station and was charged with the offences.


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