By Helena Selby
After several adjournments of the case involving Mr. Asem Dake, a.k.a 'Limping Man', who has been accused of importing 77 parcels of cocaine onboard the MV Benjamin Vessel, the office of the Attorney-General (A-G) has finally come out with its advice, directing that the case be heard at a High Court in Accra.
The Assistant State Attorney, Mr. Owusu Ameyaw, who had earlier-on reported that the A-G was not ready to prosecute the case due to its complicated nature, yesterday told the court, presided over by Mr. Francis Obiri, that the A-G had advised that the case be transferred from the Circuit Court to a High Court.
The court had in its previous sitting appealed to the A-G to be sensitive to the human rights of the accused person, and stop absenting himself from court. The accused person is still facing charges of conspiracy to commit crime, possessing of narcotic drugs without lawful authority, and importing and transportation of narcotic drugs without license.
He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges leveled against him, but has been denied bail in accordance with the Criminal Code provisions.
It was the case of the state that on April 26, 2006, intelligence gathered, indicated that a shipping vessel called MV Benjamin was on the high seas carrying about 77 parcels of cocaine, and heading towards the West African coast, specifically, Ghana.
According to the state, around midnight of the same day, the said vessel docked at Tema/Kpone and discharged the 77 parcels, which were offloaded into a waiting vehicle and taken away.
He added that investigations led to the arrest of a number of persons, who were put before various courts, tried, and convicted to various prison terms.
'During the course of the trials of the suspects, the name of Asem Dake featured prominently as the importer and owner of the 77 parcels.
He, therefore, told the court that 'Limping Man' chartered a vessel at the cost of $150,000 to transport another vessel carrying the narcotic drugs from Guinea, and which were then offloaded into the MV Benjamin on the high seas.
The prosecutor said the accused person reportedly carted away the 77 parcels from the vessel on its arrival at Kpone near Tema in the Greater Accra Region.
Moreover, on Thursday, February 2, 2012, Asem Dake was arrested at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital upon a tip-off, and consequently arraigned. According to the state, the police picked him up and handed him over to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to commence investigations into the case.