Two nursing mothers and a pregnant woman have been put before an Accra Circuit Court for allegedly carrying large quantities of dried leaves suspected to be Indian Hemp.
Beatrice Agbalenyo, Ellen Ama Egbi and Rukaya Sarfo, were arrested at the Akuse Junction by police officers from the Highway Patrol Department, who were on patrol duties.
A total of 26 slabs of compressed leaves and 31 polythene bags, all containing substance suspected to be Indian Hemp, were found in their bags upon a search.
Beatrice and Ellen, who are both nursing mothers, as well as Rukaya, who is about 17 weeks pregnant, reportedly told police officers during interrogations that the parcels were given to them by a man called ‘Driver’ to be delivered to a recipient in Accra.
The three told police officers that the said ‘Driver,’ who is a resident of Ahado, a suburb of Hohoe in the Volta Region, asked them to deliver them to someone in Accra.
The accused persons are before the court on the charge possession of narcotic drugs without lawful authority.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Their lawyer, George Asameni, prayed the court to grant them bail since they had denied knowledge of the substances.
He told the court Rukaya is pregnant and cannot be kept in custody while Beatrice and Ellen are nursing mothers.
The court, presided over by His Honour Aboagye Tandoh, granted Beatrice and Ellen bail in the sum of GH₵120,000 each with two sureties.
Rukaya was also granted bail in the sum of GH₵100,000 with a surety.
The three are to report to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on the Thursday of every two weeks, until the court decides otherwise.
Mr. Tandoh ordered the prosecution to file all its witness statements and other documents they intend to rely on for the trial.
The case was adjourned to January 30, 2019.
The prosecution, led by ASP Mawunyo Nanegbe, told the court that the police officers were on night patrol duties on the Accra-Ho Road on December 6, 2018 when they stopped a Toyota Hiace Mini bus at the Akuse Junction at about 12am.
He said during the search, the police officers found a brown leather bag and two black backpacks.
ASP Nanegbe stated that when the officers asked for the owners of the bags, Beatrice claimed ownership of the brown leather bag while Ellen and Ruqaiya claimed ownership of the two black backpacks.
“When the bags were opened in the presence of the accused persons, the brown leather bag was found to have six compressed slabs and nine polythene bags containing dried leaves suspected to be narcotic drugs,” the court heard.
The court also heard that the first black pack, which belonged to Ellen Ama Egbi, contained 11 compressed slabs and 14 polythene bags containing dried leaves.
The third bag, which belonged to Rukaya Sarfo, also contained 10 compressed slabs and eight polythene bags containing substances suspected to be narcotic drugs.
The prosecutor told the court that the substances had been forwarded to the forensic science laboratory for examination.