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General News
Ex-NACOB boss served with subpoena 8/23/2007
Accra, Aug. 22, GNA - Mr Ben Ndego, former Head of Operations at the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), who was subpoenaed by an Accra Fast Track High Court to testify in a drug-related case, has now been served with the subpoena.

The presiding judge Mr Justice Victor Doste at Wednesday''s sitting said Court bailiffs had served Mr Ndego and this had been indicated on the case docket.

"There has been proof of service," the judge said. The court observed that its order that the subpoena should be published in the Daily Graphic had been adhered to.

The judge said: "I have seen that the subpoena on Mr Ben Ndego was published in yesterday''s edition of the Daily Graphic."

The court ordered the Tema Regional Police Command to produce Kingsley Manteaw Gonu in the court to enable him to testify for Alhaji Issah Abass, who is standing trial with Kwabena Ammaning aka Tagor in a drug related case.

At the last sitting, Mr Ndego, who was to testify for Abass, was not in court after a subpoena had been served at his house at Kasoa in the Central Region. Mr Mohammed Attah, counsel for Abass, therefore prayed for a substituted service and the court granted the order that copies of the subpoena be pasted at the offices of NACOB, the court and a publication in the Daily Graphic.

Mr Attah indicated to the court on Wednesday that he intended calling Mr Ndego and Gonu as defence witnesses. Mr Ndego was, however, not in court. The subpoena expires after seven days and if he fails to appear, the court would be compelled to issue a warrant for his arrest. Mr Attah earlier told that court that Inspector Charles Adaba, the investigator of the case, was telling potential witnesses in Tema to testify against the defence. According to him, Inspector Adaba had earlier told the Colonel Isaac Kwasi Akuoku (rtd) of what to say. These allegations did not go down well with Ms Gertrude Aikins, Acting Director for Public Prosecution (DPP). "How can a retired intelligence officer take instructions from a police Inspector?" she asked. Due to the allegations, the Acting DPP said the Police Investigator should not assist in bringing Gonu to court to testify for the defence saying the court bailiff should do that. The next witness was Abdulai Salifu, Chief Driver of Abass, who confirmed knowing Tagor as friend to his boss. He told the court that Tagor visited Abass at his workplace and he (Salifu) sometimes drove his boss to Tagor''s house. Led in Evidence by Mr Mohammed Attah, Mr Salifu who works for Gazimbex Company Limited, told the court that he collected transcripts, which were in a brown envelope, from Mr Ndego.

According to Mr Salifu last year his boss Abass called him on phone and instructed him to go and collect an item from Ndego. Mr Salifu, the forth defence witness, said Abass told him to meet Mr Ndego at a spot at Osu Roundabout for an item at about 1900 hours. "I parked my car, that is an Audi 80 caravan, and in about 15 minutes I saw a Madza car park behind," witness said. Mr Salifu said he saw two people in the car and Mr Ndego alighted while speaking on the phone.

Witness said Mr Ndego gave him his phone and he talked to Abass who in turn informed him that, "the man was Mr Ndego." Salifu said he took the brown envelope containing some documents, adding that since the envelope was opened he took out a leaflet and saw Abass''s name written on it.

"Although I do not know how to read, I wanted to find out the content."

Witness said Ndego warned him not to go anywhere but deliver the documents to Abass.

Answering questions under cross-examination by Ms Aikins, Salifu denied that he took the documents from one Larsey not Mr Ndego. He maintained that his evidence was the truth denying that he only came to court to lie in order to rescue his boss. When prosecution asked how many times Tagor had visited Abass at his office, witness said twice.

Witness said he did not know ACP Kofi Boakye.

He maintained he did not know anything about the meeting, which took place at ACP Boakye''s house at Kanda. Under cross-examination by Mr Ellis Owusu Fordjour, counsel for Tagor, witness said he had worked with Abass for eight years. Witness maintained that he did not drive Abass to all places. Abass, 54, and Tagor, 34, described by the prosecution as self-confessed drug barons, are jointly charged for conspiracy and are being tried for drug-related offences.

Abass is also being held for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs and supplying narcotic drugs while Tagor has additionally been charged for carrying out prohibited business relating to narcotic drugs, buying and supplying of narcotic drugs. They have pleaded not guilty and the court has remanded them in prison custody.

The case of the prosecution is that the accused are self-confessed drug barons, who since 2004, had been actively engaged in activities of promoting and establishing various enterprises relating to narcotic drugs. Hearing continues on August 23.


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