A 31-year-old woman is standing trial at the Accra Circuit Court for allegedly impersonating some ministers of state to defraud some individuals to the tune of GH¢10,277 under the pretext of securing them jobs in public institutions.
Vivian Sajida Imran, a Nigerian, is said to have operated with her husband, Prince Joel, who is currently on the run, and allegedly impersonated the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway; and the Deputy Minister of National Security, Mr Henry Quartey.
Ms Sajida Imran pleaded not guilty to all seven counts of pretending to be a public officer, contrary to section 237 of the Criminal Offences Act (Act 29) of 1960 and defrauding by false pretence contrary to section 131(1) of the Criminal Offences Act (Act 29) of 1960.
She told the court that she was not guilty because it was her husband who used her mobile phone for the alleged fraudulent transactions.
The court, presided over by Justice Emmanuel Esaandoh, granted her bail in the sum of GH¢12,000 with two sureties, one of which must be a public officer earning not less than GH¢1,500 a month.
She is to reappear on June 3, 2020.
Presenting the facts of the case, Detective Sergeant Frederick Sarpong said Ms Sajida Imran and her husband used photographs of the three ministers of state to create multiple Facebook accounts and pretended to be the personalities behind the names.
He said both Ms Sajida Imran and Prince Joel, in their online chats and phone calls with the victims, assured the victims that they could secure them employments at the Tema Oil Refinery, Ghana Gas Company and COCOBOD.
The couple, the prosecutor said, requested the victims to pay various amounts through Mtn mobile money accounts for application forms and interviews.
Detective Sergeant Sarpong said the money was paid into various Mtn mobile money accounts and were later transferred to the accused person’s Mtn mobile money number.
The ministers of state, who later had wind of the act, informed National Security upon which Ms Sajida Imran and her husband were tracked to their house at Ashaiman where she was arrested.
Mr Joel managed to escape.
The prosecutor said a search conducted in their rooms by the police revealed six mobile phones, including those bearing the numbers used to receive the money from the victims.
He said the police further sought an order from the court for forensic examination on the retained mobile phones where it was established that one of the Mtn mobile money numbers that received amounts was registered in Ms Sajida Imran’s name.
He said the accused, in her caution statement, admitted being the owner of the Mtn number.