A Cape Coast High Court has sentenced a Police Officer to 10 years imprisonment in hard labour for extorting an amount of GHC 2,000 from some civilians at Assin Fosu in the Central region.
The officer, General Sergeant Augustine Owusu Ansah, No. 45533 was caught on camera shamelessly demanding the amount from suspects whom he had arrested for allegedly dealing in narcotics and fraud.
The policeman was in May 2019 seen in a viral video, taking monies from some civilians to help them perpetuate their criminal activities.
However, Police investigations during the trial revealed that, the convict cooked up baseless stories against the civilians just to extort sums of money from them.
G/Sgt 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 Mrs Malike Woanya-Dey.
Pleading for compassion, leniency and mercy, Daniel Arthur, Counsel of the convict, said his client was very cooperative during the trial and that as a first time offender he has 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 amount.
She added that the convict had dented the professional image of the Police Service.
Prosecuting, Clara Mensah-Agboh, an Assistant State Attorney mentioned Ibrahim Issaka, Richard Sam, Nana Yaw Ankobeah, Abdul Wahab Yusif and Clement Hiagbe alias Element as the complainants who are all friends staying at different places in 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 Mr Issaka was immediately whisked to Anyinabrim Police station, where he called his friend, Richard Sam to bail him, but on his arrival, the convict demanded GH₵2,000.00 to be paid before Issaka could be released.
She said the convict later that day met Sam and Nana Yaw Ankobeah at Pumpside, a suburb of the Fosu Municipality and reiterated that, they pay the said amount or Issaka would be sent to prison that day.
Prosecution said Sam and Issaka met at a Total two filling station at Fosu and gave the convict GH₵2,000.00 and accordingly got Issaka released.
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.