Four granted GHC320k bail over stolen Covishield vaccine

The four accused persons hauled before the Accra Circuit Court, on charges of Covishield vaccine theft, have been granted bail. 

The court presided over by Afia Owusua slapped each accused person with GHC 80,000 bail sum.

The total bail sum of the four is GHC320, 000.

In addition to the bail sum, the accused persons must produce two sureties to be justified, who must be persons living within the jurisdiction of the court.

They must also report to the police investigator till the final determination of the case.

The accused persons are Stephen Dzisenu, 37, a Disease Control Officer of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital; Cosmos Allotey, 42, an Occupational Health and Safety Officer; Joseph Knight Gaisie, a Project Assistant and a former Laboratory Technician at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital and Lord Pabitey, a Disease Control Officer of the La Bawalashie Polyclinic.

All four have pleaded not guilty to their respective charges.

As per court records, Dzisenu and Pabitey have been charged with stealing.

Allotey is facing charges of dishonestly receiving and pretending to be a public officer.

Gaisie, on the other hand, is facing a charge of abetment.

Bail application

The accused persons who were represented by three lawyers took turns to make their case.

According to the defence lawyers, the accused persons are innocent of the charges and at the right time, they will prove their innocence.

They argued that the accused persons are prominent persons in society and have relatives ready to stand as sureties for them.

The defence lawyers urged the court to consider the importance of the Easter celebrations and exercise its discretion in their favour.

The accused persons, the lawyers said, would not interfere with investigations.

In the case of Pabitey, the defence said, the accused person willingly presented himself to the National Security officers after he returned to the jurisdiction.

The prosecutor Inspector Stephen Ahiable did not oppose the bail application.

Inspector Ahiable has been directed to file a witness statement and other disclosures within two weeks.

Why the accused persons are in court

The facts according to the prosecution were that Dzisenu allegedly stole 36 vials of the Covishield, while Lord Pabitey, a Disease Control Officer of the La Bawalashie Polyclinic, now at large, allegedly stole 26 vials of Covishield.

Detective Sergeant Sarpong said Allotey was the person who received the stolen Covishield from Pabitey and Dzisenu.

The court heard that Allotey allegedly administered the vaccines at GH¢200.00 per jab.

Gaisie is also being held for an additional charge of abetment of crime.

The prosecutor said during the first week of March this year, the operatives got wind that some health officials had been stealing and selling COVID-19 vaccines.

Detective Sergeant Sarpong said during the investigation, the operatives discovered that it was Allotey who injects the COVID-19 vaccines for a fee.

He said the complainants contacted Allotey via the telephone and feigned interest in buying some of the COVID-19 vaccines, so he charged the complainants GH¢200.00 per vaccination.

The prosecution said on March 16, Allotey was arrested when he showed up to inject the complainant at Labone, Accra.

Upon searching Allotey, eight Covishield vials, eight used Covishield, 173 pieces of 0.5 ml unused injection syringes and cotton were found.

The prosecution said during interrogation, Allotey mentioned Dzisenu and Pabitey as his source.

Allotey then led the National Security operatives to arrest Dzisenu and Gaisie.

The prosecution said Allotey admitted buying 36 of the vials at GH¢18,000.00.

Detective Sergeant Sarpong told the court that Allotey explained that he sold 20 of the vials of Covishield at a cost of GH¢16,000.00 and later returned 15 vials to Dzisenu.

The prosecution said Allotey said he also bought 26 vials of the Covishield from Pabitey at GH¢4,800.00.

Sarpong said Dzisenu also mentioned Gaisie as the one who aided and facilitated the sale of the stolen Covishield vaccines to Allotey.

The case has been adjourned to April 28, 2021.

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