Popular Ghanaian actor, Kofi Adu, alias Agya Koo, who has been at the centre of a US visa fraud case, has been freed by the Accra Circuit Court after he settled his indebtednesss of GH¢600 to his accuser, Mr Stephen Kwarteng.
The judge, Mr Ebenezer Osei Darko, however, cautioned Agya Koo to be of good behaviour in order not to find himself in trouble considering his stature in the society.
He jokingly asked that the ace actor made a film out of the case and to which Agya Koo replied that he had already finished the film, which was yet to be released.
Ghana News Headlines
For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page
Agya Koo had at the court’s last sitting refunded GH¢2,000 leaving a balance of $1,000 to be paid to the complainant, which the court could not immediately reconcile and gave Agya Koo’s lawyers one month to reconcile the amount.
When the case was called today, Thursday, the prosecutor, DSP Mary L. Agbozo informed the court that Agya Koo had brought GHC600 and the accused, whose lawyer was not present, said the amount represented the full payment.
Following that, the judge asked the complainant about the state of affairs to which he confirmed that after the reconcilation, the balance left was GHC600.
Asked further what he intended to do next, the complainant said he was not interested in pursuing the matter any longer once he had been paid.
Consequently, the case was struck out as discontinued.
Agya Koo pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempt to commit crime, to wit, migrant smuggling, and fraud.
On the count of migrant smuggling, as presented by the prosecution, Agya Koo, on March 8, 2011 at Tabora in Accra in the Greater Accra Circuit and within the jurisdiction of the court, attempted to unlawfully migrate Stephen Kwarteng by facilitating his departure to the US by collecting GH¢2,170 and $1,000 from him.
The prosecution said the accused on the same date and place, led Kwarteng to the US Embassy and collected $1,000 and GH¢2,170 to facilitate an unlawful departure from Ghana to the US.
He was also said to have on the same date and place, collected $1,000 cash and GH¢2,170 from Kwarteng under the pretext of facilitating documentation for entry into the US, an act Agya Koo knew to be false at the time of making it.
The facts of the case were that the complainant, a trader, has a sister living in the US. He had the desire to visit her and discussed his desire with a friend in March 2012 who led him to Agya Koo at Alhaji Tabora, a suburb of Accra.
The accused person was said to have confirmed his ability to assist the complainant to travel to the US and cited instances to convince the complainant.
Agya Koo was said to have charged the complainant a fee of $10,000 covering visa, work permit and a return air ticket and asked the complainant to make an advance payment of $850 as processing fee and also pay $1,000 as part payment of the fee charged.
The accused person then called the complainant to bring the money to him in Kumasi, which complainant did, and after receiving it, the accused person told the complainant that he had no problem with his desire to visit the US.
Afterwards, the accused took the complainant, together with 10 others, to the US Embassy after assuring him that he would get him the visa, which assurance did not materialise.
Given the fact that Agya Koo had given him a series of excuses since 2011, the complaint got fed up and became apprehensive. At that juncture, the accused person diverted the complainant’s interest from the acquisition of a US visa to an Australian visa and demanded an additional GH¢1,150, but he again failed to honour his promise.
The complainant severally demanded for a refund of his money, with the accused person offering excuses.
On January 8, 2013, a report was lodged with the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit at the CID Headquarters and the accused person was invited several times by way of phone calls but he failed to turn up.
The police again called him on January 18, 2013 and he later reported himself and was subsequently arrested on warrant, detained and charged with the offence after investigations had been conducted.
Story by Stephen Sah