The six persons arrested in connection with the Ruby cocaine scandal were put before court again yesterday with the Circuit Court judge, Francis Obiri, refusing them bail.

However, it emerged that a man in a black suit delivered ?the luggage? of drug baroness Nayele Ametefeh aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi aka Irene Tawiah aka Ruby Appiah, who was arrested at the Heathrow Airport in London on November 10 for shipping 12.5 kilogrammes of cocaine.

Ruby is currently cooling off in Her Majesty?s Bronzefield prison in the UK after pleading guilty on the first day of court proceedings and is due for sentencing on January 5, 2015 at the Isleworth Crown Court.

The six persons, including two ladies?Sadala Nuhu and Nana Akua Amponsah?who were said to be her accomplices, have been charged variously at the Accra Circuit Court for aiding and abetting the drug baroness who used the highly restricted VVIP section of the Kotoka International Airport in Accra to board a BA 078 flight to London, per the prosecution?s own facts.

Interestingly, the prosecution is yet to disclose to the Circuit Court trying the accused persons the identity of the man in the black suit and the content of the luggage he supposedly delivered to Ruby.

A sizeable crowd, which included journalists, thronged the 28th February Road Courts, popularly called Cocoa Affairs, when the six accused persons made their second appearance yesterday.

Accused Persons

The first case involved Abiel Ashitey Armah, Foreign Service Officer in charge of the VVIP Lounge at KIA; Ahmed Abubakar, Protocol Officer; and Theophilius Kissi, a Civil Servant, who have all been charged for allegedly abetting Ruby.

Sadala Nuhu and Nana Akua Amponsah, both businesswomen who the prosecution said had travelled with Ruby but managed to escape from London back to Accra the same day, are facing a charge of conspiracy in the second case.

Dawood Factor

In the third case, Alhaji Dawood Mohammed, who reportedly played crucial roles for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) campaign for the 2012 general elections, is also being charged with abetment.

Alhaji Dawood, the originator of ?Zongo Youth For Mahama? which canvassed votes for the President during the 2012 election in the Zongo areas, allegedly made a telephone call to the boss of the VVIP section of KIA, Abiel Ashitey Armah, to facilitate the processing and boarding of Ruby and her girls, Sadala and Nana Akua, onto the BA flight through the VVIP.

Court?s Decision

The accused persons have variously pleaded not guilty and are currently in detention at the BNI cells.

The court, presided over by Francis Obiri, fixed Friday December 12 to decide on whether or not to grant applications for bail moved by lawyers for the accused persons.

They all looked composed and Alhaji Dawood did not sob as he did the last time he appeared in court.

Hot Arguments

When the first case was called, a Chief State Attorney, Penelope Mamattah, told the packed court that the security agencies needed more time to investigate the matter thoroughly, saying, ?In fact we have impressed on the BNI to fast track the investigations.

?We are hoping in the near foreseeable future things will be complete and it will be very soon,? she said.

Frank Davies, counsel for Abiel Ashitey Armah, applying for bail for his client, said it had always been the refrain of the prosecution to make things difficult in cases of such nature, stressing that ?we are not even told the specific time but they say in the foreseeable future.

?So far as the facts are concerned, the only thing A1 (Abiel Ashitey Armah) is supposed to have done was to receive a call from one Alhaji Dawood to facilitate Nayele Ametefeh (Ruby) through the VVIP. He took over that schedule about 10 months ago. Maybe stretching the argument, A1 might have exercised his discretion wrongly but that does not make him a participant,? counsel said.

He said so far, there had not been any linkage between the facts as presented by the prosecution and the charge preferred against his client, adding that ?so far as A1 is concerned, there are no further investigations,? and urged the court to use its discretionary powers in granting bail.

Mohammed Attah, counsel for Ahmed Abubakar, said ?my client as a Protocol Officer was on duty to clear one Mr Duncan and that brought him there. He was then instructed by his superior to usher in some three ladies.

?All that he did was to access the ladies into the VVIP and profiled; that was the end. The airline then took over. As for the security checks he was nowhere near them.?

He also said the facts did not support the charge and added that initially when A2 was arrested he was granted bail by the police before they were again rounded up two days later and expressed concern about his client?s health.

Vincent Aikins, counsel for Theophilius Kissi, said the accused was instructed by his superior to assist the ladies at the VVIP and did not even know them, intimating that his client was ?a victim of circumstance.?

Sadala & Nana Akua

Ellison Owusu-Fordjuor, lead counsel for Sadala and Nana Akua, said per the prosecution?s own narration, a black suited man brought luggage directly to Ruby and could not turn around to charge the ladies when Ruby had pleaded guilty elsewhere.

He said the facts did not support the offence for which they were charged.

Alhaji Dawood

Kwabena Addo-Attuah, counsel for Alhaji Dawood, said nowhere in Section 96 (7) of the Criminal Procedure Code as amended by Act 714 was it stipulated that when the prosecution was conducting investigations, bail ought not be granted by the court.

?He voluntarily submitted himself to the BNI and the offence for which he has been charged is bailable,? he said.

Addo-Attuah, in a previous radio interview, had indicated that Alhaji Dawood indeed aided Ruby to access the VVIP Lounge at the KIA.

He told Joy FM that Alhaji Dawood, prior to assisting the alleged drug baroness, Ruby, through the VVIP lounge, had only known her for just three weeks.

?Yes he [Dawood] knows Nayele (Ruby) and according to my instructions, he only knew Nayele for about two to three weeks, and not more. Well, they met in a shop according to my instructions.

?She is a pretty lady, so he approached her and they interacted and they started exchanging addresses, and then they became friends, I should say acquainted?I wouldn?t say that she has any interest in it [him], I cannot confirm. But I am only saying that they became acquainted. I cannot confirm whether they had any amorous relationship,? counsel said.

Nasty Incident

There was one nasty spectacle when some sympathisers of the accused tried to manhandle a Ghanaian Times reporter called Edem Mensah who was in court to cover the proceedings.

The reporter had the left pocket of his trousers torn by a bearded middle-aged man in a white T-shirt after the thug tried to seize the journalist?s camera.

He walked away with impunity in spite of the presence of all the security agencies.

By William Yaw Owusu & Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson


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