An Accra Circuit Court on Friday sentenced a Nigerian, Martha Sherry Anthony, to 18 months imprisonment for stealing GH¢80,000 from the accounts of two staff of the Ministry of Finance.
Martha, 27, who is a Nigerian Artist, charged with abetment of crime to wit stealing, pleaded not guilty. However, the court presided over by Mrs Evelyn Asamoah found Martha guilty and convicted her accordingly.
The convict was said to have abetted one Richard William, now at large, to steal the GH¢80,000.00 from the two complainants’ accounts.
According to the trial judge, she took note of the fact that Martha had pleaded for leniency and the fact that she has been in custody for some months, although bail was granted and also that she was a first-time offender.
Her accomplice, one Richard William, who was charged with two counts of stealing is at large, Ghanaweb reports.
Martha, who broke down in tears, prayed the court to have mercy on her because she had no one to assist her in the country.
According to her, she had been in custody for the past one year and eight months because she was unable to execute the bail bond set by the court.
Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Godfred Asiedu Bampoe said the complainants were Eva Mends and Ernest Akore, both public servants.
He said Martha and William are both Nigerian nationals resident in Ghana.
Chief Inspector Bampoe said the complainant received text messages purported to have been sent to their phones by the Minister of Finance to contact one Professor Sherry on mobile phone number 0547617489 for the details of her account and pay an amount of GH¢50,000.00 and GH¢30,000.00 into the complainants’ respective accounts.
The prosecution said the complainants contacted the accused persons on the phone and gave them their Fidelity Bank account number to pay the said monies into it.
The prosecution said the complainants, after carrying out the instructions in the text message, later found out that the Minister of Finance was not the originator of the said text message; hence they reported the incident to the police.
Chief Inspector Bampoe said the investigation led to the arrest of Martha who mentioned his accomplice as William.
The prosecution said further investigations revealed that William used a software technique known as spoofing to imitate the caller identity and message identity of the minister who was then outside the country.
The prosecution said investigations showed that Martha gave out the stated account number being used by the complainants.