Lawyer, accomplice jailed for adoption
An Accra Circuit Court has sentenced a lawyer and an orphanage proprietress to three years each in prison for deceiving a married couple to release their one-year-old child for adoption.
This was after the prosecution, led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Nyamekye, led evidence to demonstrate that David Opare Asiedu, the lawyer, and Elizabeth Arthur Adjei, the orphanage proprietress, committed the offence.
The court, presided over by Susana Eduful, also ordered Elizabeth to pay GH¢12,000 and Asiedu to pay GH¢6,000 as fines.
Elizabeth was convicted on the charge of defrauding by false pretence, while Asiedu was convicted on the charge of abetment.
ASP Nyamekye told the court that Elizabeth’s son, Prince Armah, who was a friend of the complainant, Benjamin Kofi Okyere, told the complainant that some time in April 2015 there was a job opportunity for a family in Canada, and that he was looking for an interested family to take up that opportunity.
ASP Nyamekye said Armah, also known as Paa Kwesi, informed Okyere that Elizabeth would facilitate the documentation for the travel.
“The complainant expressed interest as the opportunity would enable him to travel with his family. Paa Kwesi went ahead to introduce the complainant to Elizabeth.
“The complainant was asked to pay GH¢5,000 which would be used to procure the passports and other travel documents,” he told the court.
ASP Nyamekye said the complainant was able to pay GH¢4,400 as part payment, and was introduced to Asiedu, a former Director of Social Welfare in the Central Region, by Elizabeth as the director who would assist in the documentation processes.
“After waiting for a while, Elizabeth called the complainant and informed him that the documents were all ready but the complainant’s wife could not travel because she had become pregnant and could only travel after delivery,” the prosecutor said.
ASP Nyamekye said Elizabeth informed the complainant that there was a problem with his passport and that he could only travel after three days.
Instead, according to ASP Nyamekye, Elizabeth informed the complainant that a white man would take him and his son, who was a year and six months at the time, to Canada.
He said when the complainant confronted Elizabeth he directed him to Asiedu.
“The complainant went to the office of Asiedu who handed over a document to him (complainant) and asked him to keep it until his travel documents were ready,” ASP Nyamekye said.
He said the complainant was not convinced by Asiedu’s explanation, and therefore, showed the document to a friend who, after reading it, revealed that his child had been adopted by the white man.
ASP Nyamekye said the complainant reported the case at the Devtraco Police Station, leading to the arrest of Elizabeth and Asiedu.