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27 July 2016

Angry Amoateng opens up after passport fraud acquittal

AmoatengThe former Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North has opened up for the first time since his prosecution in Ghana and subsequent acquittal for fraud.

Eric Amoateng in an interview, told Joy News, Ghana’s Consulate in the US and Immigration officials in Ghana are partly to blame for what he deemed to be a needless round of prosecution for an offence he did not commit.

The former MP, after a two-year trial for passport fraud, was acquitted Tuesday afternoon by a Circuit Court.

He had served close to ten years in jail in the US for drug related offences and arrived home to a tumultuous welcome by family, friends and sympathisers.

However  he was rearrested at the airport and charged for fraudulently acquiring his passport to Ghana, an offence he was prosecuted for since 2014 but acquitted on Tuesday July 26, 2016.

He told Joy News’ Evans Mensah there was no way he was going to fraudulently procure a passport to Ghana while he was in jail in the US.

Frustration by Consulate

The former MP was angry by what he believed to be the frustrating conduct of the Ghana Consulate in the US.

He explained when convicts are about to finish their term in prison, the US correctional centre on behalf of the convicts approach the respective Consulates to secure travel arrangements for the convicts to be taken back to their home country.

Eric Amoateng said several calls to the Ghana Consulate in the US were ignored.

“I was then given instruction by the deportation officer of the American immigration; if my people are not responding to them I have to find my own passport to come back to Ghana,” he explained.

He said he applied online to secure his passport and was only given that passport on his arrival in Accra.

“They gave that passport which was in the Manila envelope to the airhostess to be given to the captain so that on my arrival they should give it to me,” he stated.

He added he was given the passport in Accra for the first time and could not have applied for fraudulent passport.

He was surprised Immigration officers came to arrest him for a forged passport.

“I was frustrated at that point and i knew it was not going to take a lengthy time but it has taken two years for me to get my freedom today…” he lamented.

He said the two year trial in addition to his incarceration in the US took a heavy toll on him.

“Being outside for eight and half good years wasn’t a joke. My family has suffered. I have suffered mentally, spiritually and physically but with the inspiration of God i survived.”

Eric Amoateng will not comment about his conviction in the US but looks forward to a busy life after jail term.

“Ghana is a free country. Now that i am a free man i think i have to go into any job that i can use to help myself and other people.

He said the good deeds he did before he was arrested and jailed spoke for him on his return.

NPP member?

Eric Amoateng bears no grudge against the New Patriotic Party, the party he served as MP before his incarceration.

There were reports the party abandoned him in his time of trouble but Eric Amoateng said the party had no obligation to him.

“I had a problem, I went to [prison] and i came back. They didn’t give me any problem. I have my own problem. I belong to them,” he stated.

Eric Amoateng said he will go into full time farming on his return from prison. He already has a mango plantation which he will diligently work on, on his return.

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