Ghana

Belgian New Force Girl Gets GH¢20,000 Bail

Shalimar Abbiusi

 

The Spokesperson for a new political group calling itself The New Force’, Shalimar Abbiusi, was yesterday granted a GH¢20,000 bail with two sureties by a Kaneshie District Court.

The Belgian was arrested by officers of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) last week for allegedly obtaining a student permit by false declaration in order to stay in Ghana.

She was initially remanded by the court when she made her first appearance before it, after the court gave the GIS some time to conclude its investigations.

Ms. Abbiusi is before the court for one count of obtaining a student permit by false declaration contrary to Section 52(1)(i) of the Immigration Act 2000 (Act 573), to which she pleaded not guilty.

The suspect could be fined up to GH¢1,000 or sentenced to up to two years imprisonment per section 52(1)(j) of Act 573.

The court has discretion to impose both the fine and custodial sentence.

Her counsel, Francis Xavier Sosu, yesterday pleaded with the court to grant the accused person bail pending the trial.

He said the accused has independent persons of sufficient means to stand as sureties and will ensure she shows up for the trial, adding that “even if day-by-day trial we will bring her.”

Adolf Aboagye Afreh, an Assistant Commissioner of Immigration, opposed the bail application and argued that the accused is a foreigner and although her passport is with the GIS, she could flee the country any time.

He added that the “state is actually interested in her activities in the country and her interest in engaging in political activities in the country.”

Abena Owusuaa Amenyo, the Magistrate, granted Ms. Abbuisi a bail of GH¢20,000 with two sureties.

She is to surrender her passport as well as report to the immigration three times a week.

 

Prosecution’s Case

The prosecution’s fact before the court state that the GIS’s attention was drawn to the activities of the accused on social media, and was arrested after she was invited by the Head of the National Enforcement Section at the GIS headquarters concerning her immigration status in the country.

The facts indicate that the accused was found in some short video in circulation introducing the emergence of a new political group described as The New Force’ and introduced herself as a Spokesperson for the group.

It said investigations revealed that the accused person first came to Ghana on September 4, 2017, through the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and had since been a regular visitor to the country until 2018 when she became a resident following her supposed admission as a student of the Ghana Christian University College.

Court documents indicate that checks from the college revealed that she had never been a student there, and documents purportedly issued by the college to support her application for a residence permit were allegedly forged.

 

BY Gibril Abdul Razak