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State prosecutors have been granted an adjournment to file a new charge sheet against two men accused of impersonating Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

The adjournment was granted because the prosecution indicated that they were unable to file the new charge sheet as previously assured at the last court sitting.

According to the Prosecution, the request to file a new charge sheet is due to new discoveries made during the investigation.

They have found that the accused persons are involved in additional offenses, with National Democratic Congress Women’s Organizer Hannah Bissue and Thomas Ampem-Nyarko, MP for Asuogyaman, being the latest victims.

In court on Monday, July 8, 2024, the prosecution, represented by Nancy Korkor Hammond, stated, “We were supposed to file a new charge sheet based on new information.”

She added, “Unfortunately, we have been unable to do so,” and requested an adjournment.

The accused, who are on bail but appeared without their lawyers, said they could not fulfil their obligations to their lawyers. Presiding Judge Justice Lydia Osei Marfo has adjourned the case to July 25, 2024.

Background

Promise Ahorgah, a phone repairer, and Kwaotse Mawuli, a building construction labourer, allegedly created social media accounts in the name of the North Tongu MP to solicit funds on behalf of victims affected by the Akosombo and Kpong Dam spillage. They have pleaded not guilty to six counts of defrauding unsuspecting Ghanaians and have been granted GH₵50,000 bail each.

The counts include two each of defrauding by false pretenses, charlatanic advertisement, and falsely pretending to be a public officer.

Brief Facts

The complainant in this case is the MP for North Tongu and a resident of Accra. The first accused person is a mobile phone repairer, while the second accused person is a building construction labourer.

Following the Akosombo and Kpong Dam spillage and the flooding of certain parts of the Volta Region, the complainant developed a flyer with the inscription “North Tongu MP’s Disaster Donation Drive,” with a short code 71375# requesting donations for the flood victims.

The prosecution stated that the accused persons, with intent to defraud, took copies of the complainant’s flyer from Facebook, modified it, and inserted their respective phone numbers. They then published these fake and deceitful flyers on social media, requesting donations through their mobile phone numbers, 0535623416 and 0535364971.

The accused also used the names and photographs of the complainant to create several social media accounts, impersonating the MP and communicating with people to solicit donations into their mobile money accounts. Their actions resulted in members of the public sending them money.

The complainant, upon discovering the fake flyer on social media, petitioned the National Signals Bureau, leading to the arrest of the accused persons. Both accused admitted to the offenses during interrogation, and the investigation is ongoing.

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