A 34-year old, unemployed, Mohammed Ussif Kantoosi was on Wednesday sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for pretending to be Dr Raymond Atuguba, the former Executive Secretary of the President.
An Accra Circuit Court jailed the man for falsely pretending to be a public officer, attempting to commit crime and defrauding by false pretense.
Mohammed Ussif Kantoosi was said to have attempted to obtain the consent of one Georgina Opoku to part with some state items and defrauded one Ambassador Leslie Kojo Christian of GH¢14,000.00.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge but was found guilty by the court presided over by Mrs. Abena Oppong Adjin –Doku after a full trial.
He is to serve 15 years for attempting to commit crime, 5 years for defrauding by false pretence and also to pay a fine of 100 penalty units for falsely pretending to be a public officer.
All sentences are to run concurrently.
The facts of the case as presented by Deputy Superintendent of Police, Abraham Annor are that the complainant is a fashion designer, while the convict is unemployed.
He said on July 7, 2014, Mohammed managed to get the cell phone number of the Eastern Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Alhaji Sumaila, called him and presented himself to him as Dr Raymond Atuguba, the Executive Secretary of the President.
He said Mohammed told the Chairman that the President asked him (Dr Atuguba) to get 18 laptops, five iphones and three galaxy note 3 phones to be sent to Bole Bamboi in the Northern Region.
The prosecution said the NDC chairman then gave the complainants number to the convict to contact her for the items.
Meanwhile, the Chairman had called the complainant to inform her that Dr Atuguba would call her in connection with some items so she should expedite action.
He told the court that Mohammed called the complainant and introduced himself as Dr Atuguba, and told her that the President needed some items to be sent to the Northern Region urgently.
DSP Annor said the complainant organised and had all the items worth GH¢58, 000.00 ready and called the accused person to give her a written note to confirm the request for the items.
He said Mohammed asked the complainant to meet him at the Flag Staff House on July 8, 2014 with the invoice of the items. When she got there the complainant called her and asked her that he was in a meeting and she should drop the invoice at the front desk.
He told the court that Mohammed started calling the complainant and started offering her some job appointments. He mentioned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as a Minister, which complainant rejected because she did not qualify, and later the harbour which again she rejected.
The prosecution said at this point the complainant became alarmed and suspected foul play, therefore explained her ordeal to the authorities at the Flag Staff House after which the BNI was alerted.
DSP Annor said the complainant later told the convict that she had dispatched the items to Tamale by STC so he should send someone to pick them, and the convict also told her he had instructed the accountant to effect payment of the items to her by July 15.
He told the court that on July 10, 2014, Mohammed sent his younger brother Mumuni Sumaila to pick the items at the STC yard, Tamale where he was arrested by BNI operatives and he led them to the convict at Katariga in Tamale where he was arrested.
He said in his caution statement, Mohammed admitted the offences.
He said the convict in a similar case in 2013 used the same modus operandi and defrauded the Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Christian, of GH¢14,000.00.
He said in this case he called the Chief Director and presented himself as the same Dr Atuguba and requested for money to pay for a car and that he would refund it later.
The Chief Director sent the money to him per the account number provided by him and he admitted receiving the money.