One of the judges alleged to have taken bribes in Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ the judiciary corruption investigation was accused in Bimbilla in 2004 of “improper and unprofessional” acts. Ajet Nassam was the district magistrate there and some residents were suspicious of how he conducted himself.
After allegedly receiving the bribe in Anas’ investigation, he is quoted by Anas Aremeyaw Anas as saying, “It was when I was in Bimbilla and Yendi that people used to be generous but in Accra I haven’t seen anybody like you.”
A June 29, 2004 report by the Ghana News agency reveals that 11 years ago, some residents of Bimbilla were not a happy about his judgement.
Below is the report as filed by the GNA:
Bimbilla Police and Magistrate accused
Bimbilla (N/R), June 29, GNA – Some residents of Bimbilla in the Nanumba District have expressed concern about the “improper and unprofessional acts” of the District Magistrate, Mr Adjet Nassam and the Bimbilla Police towards suspects brought before them. They have, therefore, threatened to take the law into their own hands and deal with suspects, particularly thieves, if nothing was done to change the trend and restore the confidence of the public in the Police and the District Magistrate.
Mr Attah Sualisu, a complainant, in a letter to the GNA, made a number of allegations against the Magistrate in the handling of a case in which three suspects were brought before him for allegedly stealing his cattle.
Mr Sualisu said Mr Nassam, popularly called “Daasebre”, sentenced the first accused, Musah Abubakari to a 12-month jail term for stealing. He said while Abukari pleaded guilty, the second and third accused Ibrahim Wumbei and Ali Iddrisu. who pleaded not guilty were remanded for a fortnight to re-appear before the court on May 19, this year. Mr Sualisu said when Wumbei and Iddrisu re-appeared on May 19, Abubakari, who had earlier been sentenced was again brought before the Magistrate, who reviewed the sentence and instead, imposed a 300,000 – cedi fine on Abubakari while he sentenced the other two accused who pleaded guilty this time, to 12 months’ imprisonment each.
Mr Sualisu said the Magistrate, sitting on another case, sentenced one Adam Salifu to two years’ imprisonment for stealing two goats belonging to Mr Haruna Mohammed and Mr Adam Abdulai, both residents of Bimbilla. He alleged that even though Salifu was given a two-year jail sentence, he was now out of prison when he had not served up to four months. Mr Sualisu said the convict was boasting that no one could imprison him, adding: “This situation is discouraging people from sending suspects to the court”.
On the allegation against the Bimbilla Police, Mr Sualisu said he personally arrested the fourth accused in the cattle rustling case, one Seidu Iddrisu, who bought the stolen cattle from the three other accused persons and sent him to the Police Station but the Police had failed to produce him for prosecution till date.
He said when he questioned the Police on Iddrisu’s whereabouts; they told him that he had jumped bail but no efforts had been made to re-arrest him though it was no secret that he lived in Wullensi.
The Magistrate, Mr Nassan, however, explained to the GNA in a telephone interview that he reviewed his earlier 12-month jail sentence of Abubakari because the Police withdrew the first charge sheet and submitted fresh charges against all the three accused persons. He said in order to be fair to the first accused he ordered that all the three should re-appear before the Court to face the new charges. He said when they re-appeared the first accused who had earlier pleaded guilty showed remorse while the others did not, adding that he, therefore, changed his earlier sentence of Abubakari to a fine of 300,000 cedis.
up to the Court for the fresh charges the Magistrate produced the new charge sheet and said the Court Registry made a mistake and entered remand warrant for all the three accused instead of the 12 months jail sentence for the first accused and two weeks remand each for the second and third accused.
On the allegation that Salifu had not served his two-year jail term and was seen in town, Mr Nassan said he was not aware of it and that it was not his duty to keep prisoners.
Reacting the Magistrate’s report, Police Detective Pobi told the GNA that the Police only added the name of the fourth accused, Iddrisu who is now at large, to the charge sheet and did not issue fresh charges as alleged by the Magistrate.
The Station Officer in charge of the Bimbilla Police Station, Chief Inspector S.A. Mumuni and the Nanumba District Police Commander refused to comment.