Court

The trial of Nana Osabarima Twiampomah III, the Chief of Banka Community, resumed at an Accra High Court on Wednesday.

wpid-court.jpgNana Osabarima Twiampomah III, Chief of Banka is being held for allegedly misappropriating $150,000.00 belonging to his community.

The money misappropriated was a lease sum paid by Gulf Coast Resources Limited, a mining company, to the people of Banka after using their land for mining for the past 10 years.

Charged with stealing, 52-year old Nana Twiampomah, pleaded not guilty.

At today?s sitting, Mr Wallace Bruce Cathline, a lawyer, who presented the cheque of GH 150,000 on behalf of Gulf Coast Limited to the chief, was to testify but the Prosecution told the court that Mr Cathline was indisposed.

He is currently outside the country receiving further treatment.

Prosecution, therefore, prayed for an adjournment by which time the witness would be in town to testify in the matter.

The court presided over by Mr Justice Charles Quist obliged prosecution?s prayer but hinted that he would not tolerate further adjournments.

The court has, therefore, adjourned the matter to October 30.

The accused person is currently on bail in the sum GH50,000 with one surety to be justified. The surety deposited a title deed equivalent to the principal sum of $150,000 to the Courts registry.

Nana Twiampomah was also to sign a bond not to travel outside the country until the matter is disposed off.

Presenting the facts, prosecuting Mr Matthew Amponsah, Chief State Attorney said the complainant was one Nana Yeboah, who is acting on behalf of the people of Banka.

According to prosecution, in 2000, Gulf Coast Resources Limited (GCRL) acquired a mining lease for a period of 10 years from the Minerals Commission to operate gold mining on Banka lands. The mining lease however expired in 2010.

When the lease expired, GCRL wrote a letter to the Minister of Land, Forestry and Natural Resources for the renewal of their mining lease on Banka lands. The community spearheaded by the accused person, vehemently challenged the move.

Mr Amponsah said in a letter dated June 10, 2010, the accused person and the people of Banka petitioned the Ministry of lands, Forestry and Natural Resources, protesting the renewal of the lease because GCRL had failed to fulfill its corporate social responsibility for the past 10 years.

Following this challenge, Mr Amponsah said GCRL entered into negotiations with the accused and the people of Banka. During the said negotiation, the company promised to pay $150,000 to the community as monies for development.

The accused and the people, therefore, in a letter dated on January 13, 2011, withdrew their petition and the mining lease was renewed for another 10 years beginning from 2011.

Mr Amponsah said after the mining lease was renewed, the GCRL paid the $150,000 and transferred their rights to another mining company known as Banka Gold Limited.

Prosecution said GCRL paid the amount as per Stanbic Bank Cheque number 534403 on June 14, 2011 and the accused acknowledged receiving the money and issued a signed receipt on June 14, 2011.

Mr Amponsah said the accused failed to inform his people after receiving the money, and that, despite the several demands by the people over the payment, accused denied receiving the money and as such reported the matter to the Police.

In the accused person?s statement to the Police, he admitted receiving the money, saying the money was for his personal use and not for the community.

The accused person, prosecution explained that, used some of the money to defray his legal expenses when he engaged GCRL in a legal battle.

GNA

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