The Madina District Court has sentenced a Nigerian, Mr Derick Armstrong, to four months in jail for falsely representing himself as a Ghanaian in an effort to register for the Ghana Card contrary to law.
A statement issued by the National Identification Authority (NIA) on 29 April 2021, indicated that Mr Armstrong, a resident of Lapaz, a suburb of Accra, was busted at the Premium Registration Centre established at the headquarters of the National Identification Authority (NIA), with a Ghanaian passport, a Ghanaian birth certificate, and other registration requirements in his possession and claimed to be a Ghanaian.
The NIA registration officials consequently suspected that Mr Armstrong was not a Ghanaian while he was going through an interview process.
“He was then handed over to the Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for further investigation”, the statement said.
“Despite the suspect’s initial claim that both his father and mother were Ghanaians, investigations later established that the parents were Nigerians,” the statement noted.
The suspect was arraigned subsequently.
He was 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 Madina District Court found the accused guilty of all the counts, and after a plea of leniency by a friend of the court (a lawyer), the presiding judge sentenced him to a cumulative 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 organisation’s databases.
The NIA commended the CID of the Ghana Police Service for the swift and efficient manner it investigated and prosecuted the offence.
“Any foreign national, legally resident in Ghana, and with a valid resident permit can register for the Non-Citizen Card which is issued at various designated centers across the country including the NIA Headquarters.
“NIA wishes to caution that any foreigner who tries to register for the Ghana Card (Card meant for citizens only) shall be arrested and duly prosecuted,” the statement added.