A football coach who recruited three people under the pretense of providing them playing possibilities abroad was jailed by the Circuit Court of Accra. Ken Augustt entered a not guilty plea to the charge, but after a trial, the court ruled him guilty and he was given a 300 penalty unit fine, or GHC3,600.00. In the event of default, he would be sentenced to 48 months of hard labor. The defense attorney, Mr. Lord Delvin Essandoh, argued for mitigation before sentence that the defendant was a first-time offender and that the trial had provided him with a lesson that had caused him to feel regret.
Mr. Essandoh claimed that his client, who was well known for being the family’s breadwinner, prayed for a non-custodial punishment. Football players Mr. Akwasi Sekyere, Mr. Awasi Amankwah Afrifa, and Mr. Alexander Kwame Graham were identified by the prosecution as the complainants. The convicted person, Augustt, works as the Quality Control Company’s public relations officer. This company is a division of the Ghana Cocoa Board. Augustt approached the complainants in August 2014, saying he was a coach and could help them get a visa for Kuwait so they could pursue their football ambitions.
The prisoner allegedly persuaded the complainants to pay a total of GHC 8,400.00—GHC 2,700.00 for each of Mr. Sekyere and Mr. Afrifa, and GH 3,000.00 for Graham—and assured them that the visas would be ready in a month. According to the prosecution, the defendant fled to safety as soon as he received the money.
Weeks turned into months without any indication of the visas, and after 10 months of waiting in vain, the police were notified and he was taken into custody. He admitted to the crime and told the police he had delivered the money to a man named Bartel, but he did not provide any further details.