The Accra Circuit Court last Thursday struck out the case of criminality brought against the Chief Executive Officer of the UT Holdings Limited, Mr Prince Kofi Amoabeng.
The court subsequently discharged Mr Amoabeng after a State Attorney had announced the intention of the Attorney General (A-G) and Minister of Justice not to pursue the case.
“The A-G has instructed that a nolle prosequi be entered in this case,” the state attorney told the court.
However, the court did not take kindly to the decision of the state to file a nolle prosequi on the grounds that it had taken the A-G a long time to initiate such action after the case had gone to the High Court and the Supreme Court.
After the court had struck out the case, the complainant, Nana Otua Swayne, a novelist, rose to her feet to enquire from the court why it had taken the decision.
The court, presided over by Mr Justice Francis Obiri, told the complainant that it did not know why the A-G had shown no interest in pursuing the case.
It, therefore, gave the complainant a copy of the nolle prosequi document and told her that she could go to the A-G Department to enquire about what informed their decision.
Infuriated, Nana Otua Swayne began murmuring while she left the court room in the company of a friend. She stated: “We will be back and you will see fire in this country.”
Mr Amoabeng was charged with fraud, while his lawyer, John Aidoo, was also charged with abetment of crime but both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Mr Amoabeng has been accused of releasing title deed documents of the complainant, Naa Otua Sawyne, which were in the custody of his bank, to one Alexander Adjei, now deceased, to secure a loan of GH¢1,279,000 from the HFC Bank.
His accomplice, John Aidoo, is also alleged to have altered the title deeds of the complainant to reflect Adjei’s name without recourse to the complainant.
Amoabeng has pleaded not guilty to one count of fraud, while Aidoo has pleaded not guilty to one count of abetment of crime.
Meanwhile, a statement issued and signed by the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, said based on petition received in respect of the case, the A-G took a comprehensive look at the case and concluded that the charges against the accused persons were “wrongly placed.”
“Although this case has had a checkered history, it is the firm belief of the A-G and the Minister of Justice that the prosecution of every case must be founded on proper charges to ensure a fair trial.
“Where a prosecution is based on wrong charges it from the onset occasions a miscarriage of justice to the accused persons,” the statement said.
It added that “It is solely on these grounds that the A-G has entered a nolle prosequi in the case,” it added.
Facts of the case
The prosecution told the court that Ms Sawyne is a novelist who lives at Dansoman in Accra.
In October 2005, the complainant decided to sell her house at Number 23 Ringway Estate in Accra and thus entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Adjei.
Per the agreement, the complainant and Adjei agreed on $280,000 as the purchase price, which was to be paid in three instalments in October, November and December 2005.
Adjei paid $100,000 on October 14, 2005, as agreed, but failed to pay the remaining amount.
The prosecution said the complainant was billed to travel to the UK and for that reason she borrowed GH¢25,000 from UT Financial Services and used the title deed of her house as collateral.
As part of the loan agreement, the complainant prepared and signed a deed of assignment conditionally in respect of sale transaction with the understanding that the final transaction would be witnessed by her lawyer, Martin Nwousu, and handed over to the buyer upon full payment of the purchase price.
However, on May 22, 2006, Adjei allegedly used the complainant’s title deed, which was then in the custody of Amoabeng, to obtain a loan facility from the HFC Bank.
On September 27, 2007, the prosecution indicated, Amoabeng, without recourse to the complainant, allegedly wrote a letter to the SHC informing it that Adjei had purchased the complainant’s house and, therefore, asked SHC to assign the property to Adjei.
According to the prosecution, Aidoo, then the Solicitor Secretary of SHC, having records that the complainant owned the property in question, signed a letter of consent and gave consent to mortgage the property on July 23, 2009, an act which he (Aidoo) had no capacity to carry out.
Source: Graphic Online