Drug theft has been a major challenge for health institutions in Ghana
Drug theft has been a major challenge for health institutions in Ghana

Drug theft: 3 Bolgatanga Hospital staff denied bail

Three workers of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital, who are standing trial for allegedly stealing medicines belonging to the hospital, were denied bail.

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The accused persons are Fasilat Raheem, 48, a storekeeper, Bridget Banoeyelle, 33, an assistant dispensary officer and Raymond Asoke, 36, a driver.

They appeared before the Bolgatanga Circuit Court last Monday and were subsequently remanded into police custody.

Plea for bail

Counsel for first and second accused persons,Bagomluri Lwanga Sanyeh, prayed the court to admit the accused persons to bail since the charges preferred against them were bailable offences as they were not first-degree felonies where they should be refused bail.

For his part, the counsel for the third accused, Asoke, Richard Adongo, also associated with the pleas of the counsel for the first two accused persons by requesting for bail for his clients.

He noted that the accused person also earlier pleaded not guilty and that he had sureties to stand in for him if he was granted bail.

Opposition to bail

However, the prosecution led by Inspector Prosper Adabeen, opposed the bail since investigations was still ongoing and added that if they were granted bail, they would interfere with ongoing investigations.

The court, presided over by Sumaila Mbache Ahamudu, sided with the prosecution and refused to grant them bail and accordingly remanded them in police custody to reappear in court on September 6, 2023.

The trial judge, in his ruling, said “upon hearing counsels of the accused persons and also considering the public interest, the application for bail is denied and that the prosecution is given two weeks to bring finality to their investigations into the case”.

Facts

On August 4, 2023 around 11:00 a.m., the Bolgatanga Divisional Police Command picked intelligence that some staff of the hospital had been stealing boxes of medicines from the hospital’s storeroom.

Around 8:30p.m. on that fateful day, the divisional police patrol team, led by detective Sergeant Eric Negle, swiftly monitored and arrested Asoke loading boxes of drugs from Banoeyelle’s official bungalow at Baukere into a waiting Toyota Vitz car with registration number GE 1532-21 owned by Fasilat.

Twelve boxes were founded loaded in the car and a further search conducted in the bungalow led to the discovery of 22 additional boxes containing various kinds of drugs.

Interrogation

Upon interrogation, Asoke mentioned Fasilat as the one who sent him and she was subsequently arrested at her official residence on the premises of the regional hospital.

Fasilat, in her caution statement, admitted the offence and stated that it was a deal between her and Banoeyelle.

At about 6:30 a.m. on August 5, 2023, Banoeyelle was arrested and she stated upon interrogation that she was informed by Fasilat that the said drugs were surplus and based upon that, she offered her bungalow for the medicines to be kept for them to sell later.

It was disclosed during interrogation that about three weeks ago, Fasilat informed Banoeyelle that she wanted to pick 34 boxes of the medicines from the regional hospital storeroom and needed a place to keep same for them to sell and share the proceeds.

Banoeyelle agreed and offered her official bungalow.

Based upon that, they selected 28 boxes containing various medicines from the storeroom and Asoke conveyed them with the car.

On August 4, 2023, as Asoke was offloading the medicines from Banoeyelle’s bungalow to be distributed to their buyers, he was arrested, leading to the arrest of the two others.

Writer’s email:[email protected]

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