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COVID-19: 34-year-old Nigerian remanded for taking blood sample of pregnant women at James Town during lockdown

BY MUNTALLA  INNUSAH

A 34-YEAR-OLD Nigerian national has been arrested for allegedly defying the government’s restriction order by going round to  take blood samples of pregnant women and other residents  of Gbese,  a suburb of James Town in  without legal authority.

Chukwuka James  has, therefore, been remanded by the Accra Circuit Court presided over by Afia Owusuwaa Appiah to re-appear on April 15, 2020.

His plea was not taken because prosecution had indicated it would need time to augment their facts with new information.

In court on Wednesday, the Prosecution, led by Police Chief Inspector Guiliver Tenkorang, told the court that the suspect was arrested holding medical equipment.

He told the court that certain amendments needed to be added to the facts would be done within one week. He subsequently prayed for the suspect to be remanded.

The court, while remanding the suspect to reappear on April 15 for the plea of the suspect to be taken, ordered prosecution to file their disclosures before the next court date.

Tears flow

The suspect, immediately upon  being told he  was going to be remanded, broke down in tears while kneeling before the court and asking for clemency.

He said it was not intentional that he came out that day and begged for forgiveness.

Brief facts

The facts of the case as presented to the court were that James is a Nigerian national and currently resides at Newtown in Accra.

According Chief Inspector Tenkorang, the prosecutor in the case, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the President, by Executive Instrument 65 in accordance with provisions of the Imposition Restrictions Act 2020 (Act 1012), on March 30, 2020, imposed a two-week restriction on movement outside the place of abode of persons resident within specified areas, including the area where the suspect resides in Newtown.

He told the court that on April 4, 2020, at about 9 a.m. the police had information that the suspect was taking blood samples, checking BP, and sugar level of residents in the Gbese community.

According to him, the police proceeded to Gbese in James Town and arrested the suspect who had in his possession glucometer, thermometer, test strips and gloves.

Upon interrogation, the suspect informed the police that he is a distributor of food supplements and admitted that he went to Gbese to take blood pressure of his clients.

He told the court that suspect was also checking the sugar levels of the residents in the community.

He said it came to light that suspect does not fall within the exemption group with regard to the imposition of restrictions on all persons in Ghana.

A pregnant woman who lives at Gbese  confirmed to the  police that her blood presure was taken by the accused person.

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