Emotions took the greater part of Alhaji Dawood Mohammed, the sixth suspect believed to have aided Nayele Ametefeh, aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi—the lady at the centre of the Heathrow cocaine bust in London—when he was arraigned before an Accra circuit court on Thursday.
Alhaji Dawood was arrested on his return from Nigeria recently. A search on him revealed that he had three Ghanaian and two Nigerian passports.
According to his lawyer, Addo Atuah, Dawood indeed aided Ruby’s easy passage through the VVIP lounge at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
Mr Addo Atuah reportedly told Joy FM that Alhaji Dawood, prior to assisting Ruby through the VVIP lounge, had only known her for just three weeks.
Ruby is in custody in the UK after she was arrested at the Heathrow Airport carrying 12.5 kilograms of cocaine on November 10, 2014.
The lawyer maintained, “Yes he [Dawood] knows Nayele and according to my instructions, he only knew Nayele for about two to three weeks, and not more. Well, they met in a shop according to my instructions.
“She is a pretty lady, so he approached her and they interacted and they started exchanging addresses, and then they became friends, I should say acquainted…I wouldn’t say that she has any interest in [him], I cannot confirm. But I am only saying that they became acquainted. I cannot confirm whether they had any amorous relationship,” counsel said.
It has also been established that the suspect, on his recent return journey from Nigeria, had five passports.
Alhaji Dawood, who had been on the wanted list of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), broke down in tears when the case came up for hearing at the circuit court.
It is uncertain what might have triggered the tears but the accused, who was whisked away by operatives of the BNI minutes after he had stepped out of the dock, sobbed uncontrollably.
Dawood, a businessman, is standing trial for allegedly abetting Ms Ametefeh to export narcotic drugs contrary to Section 56(c) and 1(1) of the Narcotics Drugs Control Enforcement and Sanction Act of 1990.
According to the prosecution, the accused person on November 9, 2014 at the Kotoka International Airport abetted Ms Ametefeh, aka Ruby Appiah, Ruby Adu-Gyamfi or Angel, to export cocaine out of Ghana to the United Kingdom.
Ruby last week pleaded guilty to the charge of trafficking and illegally possessing cocaine at the Isleworth Crown Court, London.
She is reported to have told the court that she was guilty of the offence. She is expected to be sentenced on her own plea on January 5, 2015.
Ruby was alleged to have breached Ghana’s airport security after she was aided by top officers within the Foreign Affairs Ministry as well as the airport security.
Appearing before trial Judge Francis Obiri, Alhaji Dawood denied any wrongdoing and was accordingly remanded into police custody to reappear on Monday, December 8, 2014.
Fervent application for bail put in by counsel for the accused, Addo Atuah, was rejected by the court.
The trial judge however ordered that the BNI allow the accused person access to his counsel and close relations within the normal working hours.
The facts of the case as presented by Richard Gyambiby, Assistant State Attorney at the Attorney General’s Department, are that the accused person and one Nayele Ametefeh aka Ruby Adu Gyamfi are bosom friends.
He said Alhaji Dawood is also a friend of almost all the employees of the VIP lounge of the Kotoka International Airport.
Mr Gyambiby said there are indications that through the accused person’s interaction with Nayele, he got to know that Nayele intended to travel with drugs to the UK.
The Assistant State Attorney indicated that in furtherance of her objective, Alhaji Dawood offered to use his influence at the VIP lounge to help Ruby to use the lounge ostensibly to evade detection by security officers, adding that at the aforementioned date, Alhaji Dawood, relying on his influence at the VIP lounge, called Abiel Ashitey Armah and two others to assist Ruby and her friends to use the VIP lounge.
Mr Gyambiby said on November 10, 2014, Ruby was arrested in the UK after cocaine was detected in her baggage, insisting that the accused upon hearing the arrest of Ruby fled the country to Nigeria and was placed on the wanted list of the BNI.