A 61-year-old businessman, Ransford Benjamin Tetteh, has allegedly defrauded Samuel Odametey Mensah, a teacher, off £38,580 in a land purchase deal.
The accused also sold the same piece of land to Joseph Okpoti Anang, an aluminum fabricator, for GH¢600,000 and after collecting part payment of GH¢350,000 went into hiding.
The sexagenarian has, therefore, been presented before an Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Kizita Naa Koowa Quarshie, on three counts of defrauding by false pretences.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was been admitted to bail in the of sum GH¢900,000.00 with two sureties, one who should be justified by at least half of the total amount.
The accused was also ordered to report twice a month to the police till the final determination of the case.
Her Honour Quarshie adjourned the hearing to June 7, 2023.
According to the lead prosecutor, Chief Inspector Isaac Anquandah, the complainants, Mensah and Anang, are both residents of Teshie, as well as the accused.
He said somewhere in November, 2021, one Hanna Atswei Osabutey, aged 82, approached the accused on behalf of Mensah to purchase a parcel of land lying behind where Ransford was living and was being offered for sale.
After a period of bargaining, the parties agreed on a price of GH¢350,000.00, of which a cash sum of £38,580 was paid to the accused as part payment.
Interestingly, he said, after the said payment was made, the accused took to his heels and was nowhere to be found.
After efforts, the complainant was able to locate the whereabouts of the accused, and demanded a refund his money.
Interestingly, the accused agreed to make to the refund, but would only do so if he found a new buyer.
In December 2022, Okpoti also approached the accused in respect of the same parcel of land at a cost of GH¢600,000.00, and an initial payment of GH¢350,000.00 was made to him.
This time round too, the court was told that neither did the accused issue a receipt to Okpoti nor refunded the teacher’s money.
They also prevented Okpoti from developing the said parcel of land with the reason that he had not finished the payment.
When the matter was reported to the police, all efforts made to reach or trace the accused proved futile.
Chief Anquandah said a warrant of arrest was obtained from the court and circulated for the accused to be arrested.
He added that the accused admitted having taken monies from both complainants in respect of the said parcel of land in his cautioned statement.
After investigation, the accused was charged and arraigned before the court for prosecution.