A Mobile Money (MoMo) merchant who impersonated a public officer has been sentenced by an Accra Circuit Court.
Mr. Richard Sie impersonated the Oti Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Charles Domanban, to instruct a police combat team, who was on duty, to release his accomplice, Ismaila Issaka, a bar attendant, from the police station for committing a crime.
Issaka had in his possession a quantity of Indian hemp and narcotic drugs with a gross weight of 24.66 grams without lawful authority.
Charged with falsely pretending to be a public officer and unlawful possession of narcotic drugs, respectively, Sie and Issaka pleaded guilty.
The Court, presided over by Mrs. Afia Owusuaa Appiah, convicted and sentenced Issaka to a fine of 200 penalty units, equivalent to GH₵2,400.00 in default, and to serve six months in prison with hard labor.
For Sie, the Court indicated that because of his boldness and tenancy in impersonating the DCOP of the Ghana Police Service, he was sentenced to six months in prison with hard labor.
The facts, as presented by Police Inspector Wisdom Alorwu, were that the complainant, in this case, constituted the Police Combat 5 Team stationed at the National Operations Department of the Ghana Police Service, while Sie and Issaka were residents of Bush Road, Teshie, and Kojo Sardine, La-Accra.
The prosecution said that the combat team, on May 29, 2023, while on duty around Teshie Bush Road, decided to conduct random searches on occupants of vehicles within their area of responsibility.
It said that while searching, an Uber car with Issaka on board was stopped for the occupants to be searched, and the search revealed a quantity of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp in Issaka’s bag.
The prosecution said that the team immediately placed him under arrest.
It said that Issaka pleaded with Richard Gameli Zormelo, another passenger in the Uber car, to use his phone to call Sie so he could inform him about his arrest.
The prosecution said that Sie, upon receipt of the call and having been briefed, instructed that the phone should be handed over to the leader of the combat team, and when that was done, he identified himself as the Oti Regional Police Commander in the person of DCOP, Mr. Domanban.
It said that Sie demanded that Issaka be released immediately and that his instruction was that of a superior officer to the team.
The prosecution said that upon waiting for a while and realizing his orders did not materialize, Sie followed up with Teshie Bush Road to get him released.
It said that on arrival, he demanded to know why the team failed to adhere to his instructions, and he was arrested for impersonating the Oti Regional Police Commander.
The prosecution said that the dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp were sent to the Police Forensic Laboratory for forensic examination and results.
It said that the report proved positive for cannabis with a gross weight of 24.66 grams.