Agya Koo pleads not guilty to charges

Comedian Agya Koo

Kofi Adu, popularly known as Agya Koo, an ace actor and comedian, on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to charges of attempt to commit migrant smuggling and fraud when he made his second appearance before an Accra Circuit Court.

Agya Koo, sweating profusely in the dock, was admitted to a fresh bail term of GHc 20,000.00 to reappear before court on January 31.

So far he has refunded GHc 2,000.00 to Stephen Kwarteng, the complainant.

Earlier, his lawyer, Mr Joseph Turkson, submitted that there was indeed a transaction between Agya Koo and the complainant. But he contended that his client and Kwarteng are in the process of resolving the matter out of court with Agya Koo refunding the money he collected. As soon as the matter is resolved amicably, the court will be informed and a termination of the court proceedings will be sought.

A day earlier, Agya Koo had appeared before the court but the prosecution at the time contended that the charges were defective and preferred to amend them and have him re-appear the next day.

The court admitted Agya Koo to bail after one of his lawyers, Mr Nkrabeah Effah-Darteh had put in a bail application.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mary Agbozo noted that refunding the money was a good stance taken by the accused person.

She stated that the complainant, is a trader residing in Accra, who wanted to visit his sister in America. DSP Agbozo said  in March 2011, Kwarteng discussed the matter with a friend who led him to Agya Koo as someone who could help Kwarteng travel to America. Agya Koo was at the time lodging at Alhaji Tabora, a suburb in Accra.

According to the prosecution, Agya Koo agreed to assist Kwarteng and charged him 10,000 dollars for his services to include  visa, work permit and a roundtrip ticket acquisition.

DSP Agbozo said Agya Koo had asked the complainant to make an advance payment of 850 dollars for processing fee and an additional 1,000 dollars as part-payment of the total fees charged.

Agya Koo received the various sums of money from the complainant in Kumasi.

DSP Agbozo said that after collecting the money; Agya Koo sent the complainant and 10 others to the United States Embassy in Accra for the visa process to commence. On the appointed day while the complainant and 10 others were waiting, Agya Koo called for a meeting at Busy Internet, near Kwame Nkrumah Circle.

At Busy Internet, Agya Koo informed them that he was unable to procure the visa but asked them to be patient with him.

DSP Agbozo said Agya Koo since 2011 has been giving excuses for his inability to procure the American visa, so Kwarteng suggested to him to procure an Australian Visa in its stead. Agya Koo demanded and collected an additional GHc 1,150.00 for this but he has still failed to honour that promise as well.

Eventually, Kwarteng demanded a full refund of his money, but Agya Koo offered excuses, compelling the complainant to lodge charges with the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service on January 8, last year. Agya Koo was invited several times via phone calls to come to the police station to respond to the charges but failed to turn up.

The Police therefore obtained an arrest warrant from the court on January 18, 2016, and Agya Koo subsequently reported to CID Headquarters where he was detained and arraigned before the court.

Source: GNA