Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources staff imprisoned for 15 months
A High Court in Accra sentenced Mr. Gabriel Gyamerah Sarpong, a staff member of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, to 15 months imprisonment for fraud by false pretence.
Mr. Sarpong was convicted on his own plea. He pleaded not guilty to the count of falsely claiming to be a public officer.
Mr. Muda Ade Lawal, lawyer for the convict, praying for a non-custodial sentence, said Mr. Sarpong was a good citizen and an IT expert until the devil pushed him into vice.
“If he gets a custodial sentence, he will be mixed with hardened criminals and come off worse,” he said.
The attorney said the convict was sober and regretted his actions, which is why he pleaded guilty.
“Trick justice with mercy to give him a non-custodial sentence,” he added.
He said the convict had a wife and two children and if given a custodial sentence his wife and children would be in trouble.
The Court adjourned the case to October 5, 2022. The prosecution was asked to file disclosures and witness statements.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr Evans Kesse told the court that the complainant was George Mireku-Duker, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.
He said that in December 2021, the convict contacted a witness in the case to meet with him so he could talk about a business deal.
The prosecution said that the following week, the witness met with the convict and told him that the business involved mining and that since the witness had traveled to various mining sites in the country, he could perform better. task.
He said that the same month, the convict called the witness on the phone and told him that the deputy minister had authorized the witness to mobilize his men to operate as such.
The prosecution said the convict then gave a fake MTN number 0244916900 as the Deputy Minister’s contact number through which he could call when needed.
The witness then mobilized his men and went to Obuasi, met the police and called the MTN number which the accused gave him as the number of the deputy minister for the said minister to contact the police for confirmation.
He said the convict, who responded as the said minister, told the Obuasi Divisional Commander to give the team all necessary assistance.
He said that after their operations, the witness made over two hundred thousand Ghana cedis (GHS 200,000) and sent it to the convict who posed as the Deputy Minister.
ASP Kesse said the witness after operating in Obuasi decided to go to Manso Nkwanta for another operation and met with the Chief Municipal Executive (MCE), where the witness told the MCE about his mission there. low and tried to contact the deputy on the MTN number. given to him by the condemned man, but there was no response.
Manso Nkwanta’s MCE then alerted the witness that it would be in his own interest to go down to Accra to meet the Deputy Minister and check whether the Deputy Minister had indeed sanctioned their task.
On September 13, 2022, the witness met with the Deputy Minister and revealed that he was working at the mining sites with his authorization.
The prosecution said the Deputy Minister denied knowledge and sent for the convict who, after questioning, was handed over to the police.
The convict in his cautionary statement to the inquest admitted the offense and said he used some of the money he received from the witness to buy a black Elantra sedan and invested one party in his building located in Amasaman.