Two gov’t engineers in court for ‘taking GHC3,000-bribe’

Two Civil Engineers of Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development who allegedly took GHC3,000 as bribes in order to award contract to an anti-corruption campaigner have appear before an Accra Circuit Court. Benjamin Bampoh and Francis Kwadwo Torsoo are said to have collected GHȼ 2,000.00 and GHȼ 1,000.00 respectively. They have been jointly charged with conspiracy and corruption by a public officer. The two have pleaded not guilty and the court presided over by Mr Aboagye Tandoh has admitted them to bail in the sum of GHȼ 30,000.00 with a surety each. They are expected to reappear on November 28. The court has directed Prosecuting Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) George Amegah to prepare their witnesses for trial to commence. Earlier the accused persons’ defence Attorneys prayed the court to admit them to bail since the allegations leveled against them were wide. According to the lawyers, the accused persons have been on Police enquiry bail and have obediently complied with Police directives. They were of the opinion that the offence was a misdemeanor adding that they would make themselves available in court until the matter was disposed of. DSP Amegah said Saka Salia, a farmer and an anti- corruption campaigner who is the complainant, is resident in Accra whiles the accused persons are attached to the Department of Urban Roads at Tema Metro and New Juaben Assembly respectively. The prosecution said in May this year, Mr Saka received series of reports that that accused persons have been using their offices to amass wealth by awarding urban road contracts to persons after taking huge sums of money from them depending on the value of the contract. To ascertain the truth or otherwise, Mr Saka and other witnesses visited the office of Bampoh at Tema Metro Urban Roads Office. The prosecutor said at a meeting with Bampoh in his office convinced the complainant he and Torsoo who is at the new Juaben Assembly would be able to award him and the witnesses lucrative contract to construct some urban roads provided ” they do something,” by parting with some monies and their deal would be considered. Bampoh demanded and collected GHȼ 2,000 and referred them to Torsoo to award some contracts at the New Juaben Municipal Assembly. DSP Amegah said Bampoh arranged for a meeting between Torsoo, the complainant and other witnesses at African Regency Hotel in Accra. At the meeting Torsoo promised them to award a contract. Bampoh and Torsoo told the complainant that due to the strict measures put in place by the Director of Urban Roads they were going to hatch a plan to neuralise him to pave way for more contracts. In accused persons statement they admitted taking money from the complainant but explained that the money was a gift, the prosecutor said. Source GNA]]>

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