By:  Helena Selby

Dr. Benjamin Kunbour, Minister of Justice and Attorney General

The prosecution handling the controversial cocaine-turned-soda powder case, involving the Head of the Commercial Crimes Unit of the Police CID, DSP Gifty Mawuenyegah Tehoda, yesterday, pleading with an Accra Circuit Court to grant it more time to complete with the investigations into the issue.

According to the Principal State Attorney, Mr. Anthony Rexford Wiredu, investigations into the case were still on-going as there is the possibility of transferring the case to the High court depending on the outcome.

The court, presided over by Mrs. Audrey Kocouvie-Taycase, therefore, adjourned hearing to March 5, 2012.

The accused person, who pleaded not guilty to charges of abetting and undertaking an activity without lawful authority is on a GH¢100,000.00 bail with 2 sureties, one to be justified.

It is the case of the state put against DSP Tehoda that following directives from the Vice President John Mahama on December 4th, 2011, to the BNI to launch investigations into the loss of 1020 grams of cocaine, which was tendered as evidence before a circuit court on September 2011 and admitted without objection.

According to the prosecution, the following day, September 28, 2011, the defense counsel objected to the evidence, indicating that it was not cocaine.

The Principal State Attorney, Mr. Anthony Rexford Wiredu further told the court that evidence would be led to show that one Mr. Yankey and Serwah Djabah, uncle and sister of Nana Ama Martins told a witness in the case that they have been able, with the help of DSP Tehoda, to turn the cocaine into Soda powder after the judge had turned down some monetary rewards given him.

The prosecution indicated that an amount of GH¢4,000.00 was meant to be given to the trial judge, who handled the case in which Nana Ama Martins was charged for possessing cocaine, andGH¢1,000.00  was meant for one Lawani, a court clerk, adding that a family member of Nana Ama Martins, one Beatrice Naab had confirmed the act.

The prosecution noted that the witness was asked not to tell anybody about the role played by DSP Tehoda, adding that the witness mentioned having contacted Mr. Kobla Senanu, counsel for Nana Ama Martins and demanded money from Serwah Djabah to pay his legal fees of GH¢10,000.00.

It is the case of the prosecution that Serwah Djabah has indicated that she had no such money to pay the legal fee, so according to the witness, they agreed to sell off the property of Nana Ama Martins to off-set the expense incurred in the case.

The court further heard that the uncle of Nana Ama Martins decided to sell the property of his niece to defray the expenses by giving the proceeds to DSP Tehoda, who called Lawyer Senanu to her office, where he paid his legal fees.

“The accused person told the lawyer that they have managed to swap the cocaine into Soda-Carbonate and that he should request for a re-test”, the prosecutor told the court, noting that the advice was followed, resulting in the final discharge of Nana Ama Martins.

Mr. Wiredu told the court that he would lead evidence to show how DSP Tehoda jubilated in her office on hearing the eventual discharge of Nana Ama Martins of charges of possessing cocaine, stressing that the accused person facilitated the swapping of the cocaine exhibits into soda-carbonate.

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