A 31-year-old Nigerian woman has been granted bail by an Accra Circuit for impersonating the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah and other ministers to defraud unsuspecting victims to the tune of about GHC10,000.
According to the police, the accused person, Vivian Sajida Imran, together with her husband, Prince Joel, currently at large, have been charged with eight counts of falsely pretending to be a public officer and defrauding under false pretence.
She was granted bail in the sum of GH₵12,000.00 with two sureties, one of whom must be a public servant, earning not less than GH₵1,200 after her lawyer prayed the court to grant her bail.
Presenting the facts of the case to the court on Friday, State Prosecutor Detective Frederick Sarpong told the court that in April, the accused persons used the names of Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah; Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway; and the Deputy National Security Minister, Henry Quartey, to create multiple Facebook accounts and pretended to be ministers.
According to the detective, the first and the second accused suspects, through online chats and phone calls informed their unsuspecting victims that they could secure them jobs at Tema Oil Refinery, Ghana Gas or COCOBOD.
Following this, the suspects requested the victims to pay various amounts to mobile money accounts in order for their application forms and interviews to be facilitated.
The monies amounting to about GH₵10, 200 were paid to their mobile money accounts. The prosecutor told the court that a search conducted in the suspect’s rooms revealed six mobile phones, including the three mobile money numbers, used to receive the monies from the victims.
He explained that an order of the court was sought and a forensic examination was carried out on the retained mobile phones. One of them was found to contain a SIM number which had been registered in the name of the first accused person.
The same number was found to be the final destination where the ‘booties’ obtained from the victims were transferred and later withdrawn.
During investigations, the prosecutor said the first accused person admitted being the owner of the mobile money number. With the number in hand, the police contacted the victims, and they narrated their ordeal.
The case has been adjourned to June 3, 2020 as efforts are being made to track the second accused person.