Accra, June 28, GNA - Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Gifty Maweunyega Tehodah, the Police Officer at the centre of the alleged cocaine swapping scandal was on Thursday discharged unconditionally by an Accra Circuit Court due to the prosecution's inability to start the case.
This follows the court’s warning at the last sitting for the prosecution to start the matter, failure of which would indicate the State was not ready to prosecute the case and the court would be compelled to discharge the accused.
Mr Francis Obiri, the trial judge, who on countless occasions had warned the State to start proceedings, said he had listen to the prosecution's submissions that they were opposed to the accused unconditional discharge.
He subsequently strike out the case and discharged the accused unconditionally.
Mr Anthony Rexford Wiredu, Principal State Attorney earlier in his submission said the State was not opposed to the unconditional discharge of the accused.
He said the State was unable to begin the case due to some prevailing circumstances and efforts to arrest some key persons relating to the matter.
Mr Wiredu said the security agencies were still unearthing every aspect of the matter and due to security reasons they would not want to talk much on the matter.
Mr Ephraim A. Vorduagu, Counsel for DSP Tehodah said the defence was happy that the prosecution and the investigations were virtually getting to the bottom of the matter.
“My Lord the prosecution is informing the court that certain people have been arrested and I believe by law and procedure the coming days would be interesting to our dear nation,” he said.
He prayed the court to uphold the prosecution’s submission that the accused be discharged unconditionally.
The facts are that Vice President John Dramani Mahama, on December 4, 2011, directed the Bureau of National Investigation to investigate the loss of 1,020 grammes of cocaine tendered in evidence at an Accra Circuit Court on September 27, 2011, which was admitted without any objection in a case against Nana Ama Martins.
However, the following day at the trial, the defence objected to the exhibit claiming it was not cocaine.
Mr Anthony Rexford Wiredu, Principal State Attorney told the court that the prosecution would lead evidence to show that an uncle of Nana Ama Martins, one Yankey, and a sister of Nana Ama called Gyabaah Serwah, informed a witness that they had managed with the assistance of DSP Tehoda to change the cocaine into sodium bicarbonate after the trial judge had refused to take GH¢5,000 as bribe.
An amount of GH¢4,000.00 was for the judge and GH¢1,000.00 to the Court Clerk, one Lawalni.
He said there was evidence that one Beatrice Narh, a family member of Nana Ama Martins, confided in her witness not to tell anyone about the role played by DSP Tehoda and others in the alleged swapping exercise.
DSP Tehoda was the Deputy Head, Commercial Crime Unit at the Police Headquarters in Accra.
Mr Wiredu said the witness stated that one lawyer Komla Senanu was contacted and had to pay GH¢10,000 as legal fees but because Nana Ama Martins could not honour the payment, her sister Serwah and others agreed to sell a house belonging to Nana Ama in order to do so as well as other expenses.
He said DSP Tehoda and the uncle of Nana Ama Martins, Yankey, spearheaded the process by sending the indenture on the property to the Lands Commission to ascertain its validity.
Mr Wiredu said after the sale of the house the proceeds were given to DSP Tehoda.
He said DSP Tehoda invited Senanu on three occasions to her office and paid him the legal fees, and informed him that the lawyer had managed to swap the cocaine and turned it into sodium bicarbonate.
Mr Wiredu said after the second test, which proved negative for cocaine, Nana Ama Martins was released, whilst DSP Tehoda was seen jubilating in her office on that day.
He noted that the process of changing the cocaine into sodium bicarbonate was facilitated by DSP Tehoda, hence her charge with abetment for undertaking an activity relating to narcotics.
DSP Tehoda was on GH¢100, 000 bail with two sureties, one to be justified following an appeal at the Human Rights Court.
She was to report to the Police every Monday.