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A Policeman has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in hard labour by the Cape Coast High Court after he was caught on camera demanding an amount GH¢2,000 from some civilians.
General Sergeant Augustine Owusu-Ansah, with service No. 45533, who was stationed at Assin Fosu in the Assin Central Municipality of the Central Region, was seen in a video that went viral on social media taking the amount from the civilians, one of whom he had arrested for allegedly dealing in narcotics in 2019.
Police investigations revealed that the convict cooked up stories against the civilians just to extort money from them.
G/Sgt Owusu-Ansah pleaded not guilty to the charge of extortion but was found guilty after the trial and was convicted by the court presided over by Justice Malike Woanya-Dey.
Pleading for leniency and mercy for his client, counsel of the convict, Daniel Arthur, said the policeman was very cooperative during the trial and that as a first time offender he had also shown remorse.
However, the presiding judge said the convict was in a position of trust, and should have protected the people but rather chose to take undue advantage of innocent civilians who had to painfully pay the said amount.
She added that the convict had dented the professional image of the Police Service.
An Assistant State Attorney, Clara Mensah-Agboh, who was prosecuting, mentioned Ibrahim Issaka, Richard Sam, Nana Yaw Ankobeah, Abdul Wahab Yusif and Clement Hiagbe, alias Element, as the complainants who were all friends staying at different places at Assin Fosu.
She said on Monday, April 29, 2019, the convict went to Issaka’s room in the company of his girlfriend and arrested him for allegedly possessing Indian hemp in his room.
The prosecution said the convict immediately whisked Issaka away to Anyinabrim Police Station, where he (Issaka) called one Richard Sam, his friend, to come and bail him but on his arrival, the convict demanded GH¢2,000 to be paid before Issaka could be released.
She said the convict, later the same day met Sam and Nana Yaw Ankobeah who are all friends of Issaka at Pumpside, a suburb at Assin Fosu, and insisted that they paid the said amount or Issaka would be sent to prison that day.
The prosecution said Sam and Issaka met at a filling station at Assin Fosu and gave the convict GH¢2,000 before Issaka was released from police custody.
She said, however, that a week after the incident, a video recording of the convict taking some money from the friends of Issaka was circulated on social media leading to his arrest.
As a result, the convict was then charged with the offence of extortion and put before the Cape Coast High Court.
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