DSP Gifty Mawuenyega Tehoda
THE CASE of DSP Gifty Mawuenyega Tehoda, the police officer who has been accused of playing a key role in the cocaine turning soda scandal, was yesterday adjourned to April 12.
This was after Kwabena Owusu Ameyaw, a state attorney, had informed an Accra Circuit court presided over by Mrs. Audrey Korcuvie-Tay that Anthony Rexford Wiredu, the Principal State attorney handling the case, was sick.
According to Mr. Ameyaw, he had been instructed to take a date for the next sitting.
He however informed the court that DSP Tehoda was still not obeying a condition attached to her bail that she should report to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to assist investigations.
The judge however said she had not yet seen the said order from an Accra High Court.
Counsel for DSP Tehoda were absent so the judge adjourned the matter accordingly.
DSP Tehoda, on February 6, 2012, was charged with abetment of crime to wit undertaking an activity relating to narcotic drug, contrary to section 56(c) and 3(2) of the PNDCL 236 Narcotics drug (Control, Enforcement and Sanction Act 1990).
The police officer, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, was remanded into custody by Mrs. Korcuvie-Tay on grounds that charge was narcotic related.
The relentless effort by her lawyers to get bail for her paid off on February 14 as she was granted bail at an Accra Fast Track High Court where the judge, Justice Edward Asante, said he could not see the link between the charge and the facts against the accused.
Mr. Wiredu, presenting the facts on February 6, narrated that on September 28, 2011, Kwabla Senanu, counsel for Nana Ama Martins, a woman accused of dealing in narcotics, objected to a substance believed to be the said cocaine and prayed the court for a retesting.
The trial judge, Eric Kyei Baffour, agreed and when the substance was re-tested, it turned out to be sodium bicarbonate, baking soda.
Mr. Wiredu informed the court that the BNI began investigations into the soda cocaine following the directive by the Vice President for investigations into how the 1,020 grammes of cocaine turned into baking soda.
The investigations, according to the prosecutor, revealed that DSP Tehoda, deputy head of the Commercial Crime Unit at the CID headquarters, knew about the swapping of the substance and also knew Nana Ama.
Mr Wiredu said the police officer arranged for a lawyer for the cocaine suspect and allegedly met with Nana Ama Martins a dozen times while she was in custody and also after her subsequent release when the stuff changed to baking soda.
Explaining further, Mr. Wiredu said he would lead evidence to show that one Mr. Yankah and Serwah Gyaabah, an uncle and sister of Ama Martins respectively, told a witness in the case that with the help of DSP Tehoda, they had been able to turn the cocaine into soda after the trial judge refused to take GH¢5,000 they had wanted to bribe him with.
The witness allegedly explained that the relatives wanted to give the judge and one Lawal, the court clerk, GH¢4,000 andGH¢1,000 respectively.
This allegation, according to the prosecutor, was confirmed by one Beatrice Naab, a family member of Ama Martins who asked the witness to keep her mouth shut and not tell any one the role played by DSP Mawuenyega and others involved.
Mr. Wiredu said DSP Tehoda told Nana Ama Martins lawyer that they had managed to swap the cocaine and that at the trial, he should ask for a re-test. This instruction was followed by the lawyer and true to her words, the cocaine turned soda.
He said the DSP jubilated in her office when she heard of the release of Nana Ama Martins.
“This enterprise of swapping of cocaine turning into soda was facilitated by accused and so she has been charged.”
In response, Mr. Vordoagu objected strongly to the prosecution’s facts, saying they were all hearsay.
Counsel, who termed the prosecution’s action as “malicious prosecution”, indicated that the prosecution was only desperate and bent on persecuting the DSP because the facts could not be substantiated in material aspect.
By Mary Anane