Two persons have been arrested and arraigned at the High Court in Accra for allegedly impersonating Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongue, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa to defraud unsuspecting Ghanaians.

The two, Promise Ahorgah, a Phone repairer and Kwaotse Mawuli, a building construction labourer are said to have created social media accounts in the name of the North Tongue MP to solicit funds on behalf of victims affected by the Akosombo and Kpong Dam Spilage.

They were arrested in December and have been remanded into the custody of the National Signals Bureau pending further investigation.

The two are on six provisional counts comprising of – two counts each of defrauding by false pretences, Charlatanic advertisement and falsely pretending to be a Public Officer.

The Criminal Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo did not take the plea of the accused person as investigations are said to be ongoing.

In Court on Friday, December 15, 2023, Watkins Adama, a State Attorney, said, “Our prayer to court is to have the accused persons remanded pending further investigations.”

The State Attorney said the prosecution did not intend to take their plea but was allowed by the Court to read the Counts, the statement of offence and the brief facts in open court.

Justice Osei Marfo has since remanded them into lawful custody while the case was adjourned to January 9, 2024, for the plea of the accused to be taken.

The Court directed the accused persons who had told the court that, they needed time engage the services of lawyers, to ensure that at the next sitting, they will come with their lawyers.

Brief facts

Per the brief facts of the case, the complainant in this case is the Member of Parliament for North Tongu and resident of Accra.

It states that, the first accused person is a mobile phone repairer while the 2nd accused person is a building construction labourer.

The Prosecution said, following the Akosombo and Kpong dam spillage and the flooding of certain parts of Volta Region, the complainant developed a flyer with the inscription ‘North Tongu MP’s Disaster Donation Drive,’ with a short code *713*75# requesting good Samaritans to donate in aid of the flood victims.

The prosecution stated that, the 1st and 2nd accused persons with intent to defraud took copies of the complainant’s flyer on Facebook, modified the flyer and inserted their respective phone numbers in the modified flyer.

“Holding themselves out as the complainant and causing the general public to wrongly believe they were the complainant, the 1st and 2nd accused persons published the fake and deceitful flyers on social media platforms requesting the general public to make cash donations into their mobile phone numbers 0535623416 and 0535364971 respectively, which each of the accused persons had stated on the fake and deceitful flyers,” the Prosecution.

The brief facts added that, the 1st and 2nd accused persons again used the names and photographs of the complainant to create several social media accounts, personated the MP and communicated with several people to solicit donations into their mobile money accounts.

“Through their acts of personation and publication of deceitful advertisement with the intent to defraud, the 1s and 2nd accused persons succeeded in causing members of the public to send to them sums of money,” the Court was told.

The Prosecution said, the complainant who chanced on the fake flyer on social media petitioned the National Signals Bureau and the accused persons were arrested.

“Both 1st and 2nd accused persons admitted to the offences when interrogated. Investigation is still ongoing,” the Prosecution said.

Source: Inusah