Pregnant woman in cocaine case granted bail

The pregnant woman among four persons arrested in connection with the 125 slabs of cocaine recently seized at the Tema Harbour was on Tuesday November 9, admitted to bail by the Fast Track High Court.

Kyerewaa Twum-Barimah was admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢80,000 with two sureties, one to be justified.

The court, presided over by Mr. Justice Mustapha Habib Logo, asked that the sureties should be within the Accra-Tema area.

The court ruled that it had been established that Kyerewaa was six to seven months pregnant, hence she should be admitted to bail.

The state did not oppose the bail application but declined bail in respect of the three others saying investigations were continuing.

The three are Benjamin Armstrong, Anthony Wilson and Edward Kojo Arhin.

The four accused persons, whose pleas have been reserved, are facing charges of conspiracy and importation of narcotic drugs.

Mr. Joe Aboagye-Debrah, counsel for Armstrong and Wilson, prayed the court to admit his clients to bail and alleged that the real culprits had not been arrested.

“The bill of laden bore the name of Consolidated Shipping Service and Mersk Shipping Line as consignees. Why has the state not arrested the officials of the two companies?” he asked.

According to him, his clients had no control of the container and that the state was aware that the said container had been tampered with.

“They have documentary proof of the tempering of the container. The continuing detention of the accused persons constituted illegality,” counsel said.

Mr. Aboagye-Debrah said if the state was not ready to prosecute the case then the court should grant them their liberty.

He observed that the passports of the accused persons had been taken from them and they were not going to abscond. He said the accused had so far given the state the necessary documents and information in respect of the matter.

Mr. James Agalga, Counsel for Kyerewaa and Arhin, urged the court to take judicial notice of the fact that Kyerewaa was six months pregnant.

Mr. Agalga said Kyerewaa’s incarceration was hazardous to her and the unborn baby.

In respect of Arhin, Mr. Agalga said he was a businessman whose incarceration was affecting his business and family.

Mrs. Evelyn Keelson, Principal State Attorney, told the court that the state was not ready to start the trial because a lot of issues ought to be investigated.

The Principal State Attorney noted that the issue at hand involved countries including Panama and USA noting that their investigations ought to be extended to those places.

According to Mrs. Keelson, the alleged narcotic drugs had been forwarded to the Ghana Standards Board for analytical examination and they had not received the results.
She therefore prayed the court for another two weeks saying we hope by that time we would be getting far in the case”.

Mrs. Keelson debunked defence counsel’s assertion that there had been an unreasonable delay stressing that from October 18, 2010 to November 9, 2010 does not constitute an unreasonable delay”.

She said the accused persons had been charged and put before a court and remanded into lawful custody.

“If investigations show that they do not have a hand in the case we’ll let them go,” she added.

Relatives of the accused persons, however, shed tears in the court premises as soon as the court remanded them in custody.

On October 18, officials of the Narcotics Control Board and the Ghana Police Service busted a cocaine consignment weighing 125 kilograms suspected to be part of several items delivered at the Port.

Security personnel during investigations arrested two clearing agents and a truck driver for questioning. This led to the arrest of the accused persons.

The goods to be cleared from the vessel were allegedly meant for a company with the name given as Pharma Plus Africa, dealers in derivatives for petroleum products. GNA

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