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Alleged associate of Osafo-Maafo granted GH¢1.4m bail

The Circuit Court in Accra presided over by Mr Emmanuel Essandoh has granted bail in the sum of GH¢1.4 million to one Mohammed Aminu Bonkanu, who has defrauded one Alhaji Fuseini Suleiman to the tune of over GH¢1.3 million.

Bonkanu, charged with four counts of defrauding and money laundering, is said to have received various sums from his victim on the pretence that it would be given to the Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo to facilitate his appointment as the Director-General (D-G) of Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA).

As part of the bail conditions, he is to produce four sureties who must be civil servants earning not less than GH¢2000. He is also to report to the police every Wednesday at 10 a.m.

The court, in granting him bail, also ordered him to submit his passport to its registrar.

This was after his lawyer, Victor Kodjogah Adawudu, made an oral bail application for him.

The bail application, even though was opposed by the prosecution led by Assistant Superintendant of Police (ASP) Sylvester Asare, was granted.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the offence before being granted bail.

Brief facts

Brief facts of the case as presented to the court by ASP Asare were that the complainant is a retired Civil Engineer and the former General Manager of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).

The accused person, he said, is a resident of Sapeiman, a suburb of Accra. According to him, in March 2020, complainant reported to the police that Bonkanu had demanded and received cash total of USD132,000 (GH¢726, 000) and 50, 000 Euros (GH¢531, 150) on the pretence of giving same to Osafo Maafo to facilitate his appointment as the D-G of GPHA.

The prosecutor said on receipt of the complaint, the then suspect was arrested, interrogated and investigation caution statement obtained from him.

ASP Asare said preliminary investigations revealed that sometime in the year 2017, the accused introduced himself as National Security Operative (NSO) to complainant.

According to him, due to the nature of his job as an NSO, he (now accused) could connect businessmen to high profile personalities in government, including Osafo Maafo, the Senior Minister, for appointments and promotion of businesses.

The prosecutor told the court that the accused further indicated that he could lead the complainant to the Senior Minister to assist the complainant secure appointment as the D-G of GPHA and also to acquire a licence for complainant to do oil marketing.

He told the court that in his quest to defraud complainant, the accused mentioned government officials, including 2nd Lady, Mrs Samira Bawumia, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mrs Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, and Member of Parliament for Dome Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo, as his associates.

The prosecutor told the court that the accused told the complainant that he had discussed the complainant’s appointment as D-G of GPHA and the acquisition of oil marketing licence with the purported Mr Osafo Maafo.

“Additionally, accused informed complainant to expect a message on WhatsApp or SMS from Yaw Osafo Maafo. Subsequently, complainant received WhatsApp messages purported to be from Osafo Maafo. The authors of those messages confirmed to the complainant that the accused had discussed complainant’s desire to be appointed as D-G of GPHA and the acquisition of oil marketing licence.

“The purported senior minister, in a WhatsApp chat, agreed to facilitate complainant’s appointment as D-G of GPHA and facilitate the acquisition of the oil marketing licence. Thus, the purported senior minister demanded various sums of monies from complainant through WhatsApp chats to facilitate the appointment of the complainant,” he told the court.

He added that, “The said senior minister instructed complainant through WhatsApp chats to hand over all monies for the facilitation to the accused person as his trusted agent. Thus accused person followed up, demanded and received various sums of money for the purported senior minister.”

He said investigations had it that between 2017 and 2018, accused person demanded and received the various sums for the purported Osafo Maafo.

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