The Criminal Court 5 Division of the High Court has granted a Nigerian, Bachir Musa Aminou, a bail to the sum of GH₵200,000 with two sureties.
The 42 year-old was arrested with 656 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards in his possession at the Kotoka International Airport last year, 2021. He has the cards bearing different names issued by eight Nigerian banks and one Ghanaian bank.
According the Presiding judge, Lydia Osei Marfo, as part of the sureties, the suspect must produce someone who is a Ghanaian citizen and domiciled in the country. In addition, each of the sureties must demonstrate that he/she is on a net monthly salary of not less than GH₵3,000.
As part of the bail conditions, Lydia Osei Marfo ordered the accused to deposit his passport at the Court Registry and report weekly (on Mondays) to the National Investigations Bureau until the end of the case.
Holding the brief of the case, the prosecutor stated that the suspect was arrested at the Kotoka international Airport. During interrogation, the prosecutor asserted that the accused stated that the ATM cards were given to him by one Rabiu Suleiman based in Kano State, Nigeria, to be given to one Baffa Bawarije, a Nigerian based in Daira Night City Hotel, Dubai.
Today’s Court Proceedings
Since Aminou’s arrest, the Assistant State Attorney, Amanda Awade, prayed the court for adjournments to enable investigators conclude their work. However, the Assistant State Attorney in court today, stated that she contacted the investigator in charge of the case and was informed that the investigators are yet to receive responses to letters they sent to the various banks whose ATM cards were found, as well as the Bank of Ghana. Awade told the Court that there was no new information with regards to developments on the matter.
The judge disclosed that “The time given to the investigators is long enough and the Court expected the investigators to conclude their investigations.”
The judge morever intimated that although the Assistant State Attorney prayed for extension of time and the same had been granted, the Attorney “still had not provided any tangible results of their investigations against the accused.” The judge subsequently moved to grant the accused bail and adjourned the case to March 23, 2022.
It can be recalled that the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) on September 12, 2021, arrested Aminou at the Kotoka International Airport when he was going through departure formalities en route to Dubai with 656 ATM cards connected to nine banks operating in Ghana and Nigeria. The accused concealed the cards in a black plastic bag containing kola nuts. During interrogation, he said that 132 of the cards belong to him, and that he collected them from his extended relative for business, and the rest of the cards were for his business partners in Dubai. Aminou also had in his possession $12,000 and a list of the PIN numbers of some of the ATM cards.
Mr Aminou has since been charged with Electronic Trafficking and Stealing. He however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.