A 56-year-old Ghanaian who assisted a foreigner to acquire a Ghanaian passport has been handed a GH¢840 fine after being found guilty of the offence.
Moses Agbezuger will serve two months imprisonment if he defaults after being found guilty of assisting a Nigerian claiming to be a marine engineer, Obina John Ukah, aka John Patu, to secure a Ghanaian passport.
Handing the sentence, the presiding judge at the Kaneshie District Court, Ms. Ama Adomako Kwakye, said she took into consideration the plea for mitigation and aggravating factors before convicting Agbezuger who changed his plea from not guilty to guilty.
The court also sentenced Ukah to a fine of GH¢840, or two months imprisonment in default.
Before the sentence was handed down, counsel for Agbezuger prayed the court to hand down a non-custodial sentence to his client as he was a first-time offender.
He said apart from showing remorse, he was also a father of seven, and that sentencing him to jail would bring hardship to the wife and children.
The prosecution had told the court that Agbezuger abetted Obinna John Ukah, the 29-year-old Nigerian, to secure a Ghanaian passport in March, this year.
Ukah was held for attempting to obtain Ghanaian passport through false declarations, and also to obtain for himself, a Ghanaian birth certificate.
The prosecution said the two accused were arrested at the Passport Application Centre at Tema on June 23, 2020, when Ukah, in the company of Agbezuger, submitted an application for a Ghanaian passport.
They were both referred to the Ghana Immigration Service headquarters for further investigations.
Prosecution said investigations established that Ukah was, indeed, a Nigerian who entered Ghana somewhere in January this year through unapproved routes along the Eastern frontier, and had since remained in Ghana without any immigration permit.
The prosecution said investigation showed that Ukah was known as Obinna John Ukah and not John Patu as he claimed to be, and that all information on the Ghanaian birth certificate, including the names of parents and nationality were false.
The prosecution said Agbezuger said he had completed and paid for the Ghana passport application form for Ukah, and accompanied him to the passport application centre, after he had invited Ukah to come to Ghana so that they could work with a firm in the country. — GNA