The Madina District Court has sentenced a Nigerian resident at Lapaz, a suburb of Accra, Derick Armstrong to four months imprisonment for falsely representing himself as a Ghanaian in an effort to register for a Ghana Card contrary to law.
Armstrong committed the crime at the Premium Registration Centre established at the Headquarters of the National Identification Authority (NIA).
He carried a Ghanaian passport, a Ghanaian birth certificate, and other registration requirements and claimed to be a Ghanaian and was eligible for a Ghana Card.
In the course of the usual stringent interview by the NIA registration officials, it was suspected that Armstrong was not a Ghanaian.
The NIA officials quickly handed him to the Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) detachment located at NIA’s headquarters for further investigation.
Despite the suspect’s initial claim that both his father and mother were Ghanaians, investigations later established that the parents were Nigerians.
He was arraigned before the Madina District Court and charged for possession of forged documents; contrary to section 166 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960(Act 29) and defrauding by false pretence; contrary to section 13(1) (32) of the Criminal Offences Act 1960(Act 29).
His other count was deceiving a public officer contrary to section 251 of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29).
At the end of the trial, the accused was found guilty on all counts, and after a plea of leniency by a friend of the court (a lawyer), the Presiding Judge sentenced the accused to a cumulative jail term of four months to run concurrently, and to be served at the Ankaful Prisons.
The court further ordered the complainant to request a court order, in order to ensure the physical destruction and deletion of the documents in his possession from the individual organization’s databases.
In a release, the NIA commended the CID of the Ghana Police Service for the swift and efficient manner it investigated and prosecuted the offence.
The Authority also cautioned that “any foreigner who tries to register for the Ghana Card (Card meant for citizens only) shall be arrested and duly prosecuted.”