General News of Sunday, 28 March 2021
A Circuit Court has remanded a Disease Control Officer at La Bawalashie Polyclinic in National Investigation Bureau (NIB) custody, for allegedly stealing and selling some Covid-19 vaccines belonging to the state with some other three persons.
On Friday March 26, 2021, the accused, Mr. Lord Pabitey, was remanded after the court presided over by Judge Afia Owusu found it necessary to hold him in custody for the next sitting scheduled for April 1, 2021.
Mr. Pabitey was arrested by National Security Operatives in Accra and is currently standing trail for stealing, dishonestly receiving, pretending to be a public officer, and for abetment of crime namely stealing.
The other three persons earlier arrested are Stephen Dzisenu (37), a Disease Control Officer at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital; Cosmos Allotey (42), an Occupational Health and Safety Officer; and Joseph Knight Gaisie, a Project Assistant and a former Laboratory Technician at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital.
Meanwhile Chief Inspector of Police, Simon Apporsunu, noted that Mr. Gaisie is also being held for additional charge of abetment of crime.
Holding the brief for the substantive prosecutor, the Chief Inspector prayed the court not to grant Mr. Pabitey bail on basis that granting it would interfere with ongoing investigations on the case, but the court denied the request.
Reading the facts to the accused, Chief Inspector Simon noted that in the first week of March this year, the security operatives got wind that some health officials had been stealing and selling the Covid-19 vaccines.
The operatives’ investigations revealed that Stephen Dzisenu and Lord Pabitey were the perpetrators who allegedly stole 36 and 26 vials of vaccines respectively.
Cosmos Allotey, according to the prosecution, was the receiver and dispenser of the stolen Covidshields.
A police officer, Detective Sergeant Sarpong, reported that further investigations revealed that Mr. Allotey allegedly administered the vaccines at a fee of GH¢200.00 per jab.
Recounting how his arrest came about, he said the complainants contacted the suspect via telephone and feigned interest in buying some of the vaccines. Mr. Allotey consequently charged them GH¢200.00 per vaccination.
On March 16, he was arrested when he showed up to inject the complainant at Labone, Accra.
Detective Sarpong added that when Mr. Allotey was searched, eight Covidshield vials, eight used Covidshields, 173 pieces of 0.5 ml unused injection syringes and cotton were found on him.
The prosecution noted that Mr. Allotey admitted buying 36 of the vials at GH¢18,000.00. According to the prosecution, he sold 20 of the vials of Covidshield at a cost of GH¢16,000.00 and later returned 15 vials to Dzisenu.
He also bought 26 vials of the Covidshield from Pabitey at GH¢4,800.00.
The suspect subsequently led the National Security operatives to arrest Dzisenu and Pabitey who were his mentioned sources.
Detective Sarpong added that Mr. Dzisenu also mentioned Gaisie as the one who aided and facilitated the sale of the stolen Covidshield vaccines to Allotey, leading to his arrest.