Bright Sarkodie, a driver has been sentenced to five years imprisonment by an Accra Circuit Court for defrauding a man of GH¢450,000.00 under the pretext of securing him an excavator.

Sarkodie pleaded not guilty to defrauding by false pretense but was found culpable after trial and sentenced in absentia because he jumped bail in the course of the trial.

Inspector Maxwell Ayim told the Court presided over by Mrs Ellen Offei Ayeh that Nana Agyemang Duah, a miner and the complainant in 2016, expressed interest to purchase an excavator.

He said the complainant then discussed it with one Idrissu, who in turn directed him to the convict, who claimed his uncle imports such machines for sale in Ghana.

Inspector Ayim said when the convict was contacted he told the complainant that his uncle’s stock had been sold out but he could lead him to another person to get one.

He said Sarkodie then told the complainant that the price is GH¢350,000.00 but he would sell it to him at GH¢450,000.00 and that he could pay by instalments so the complainant agreed.

Prosecution said Sarkodie then asked him to pay a deposit of GH¢150,000.00 but the complainant told him he only has GH¢64,000.00 ready and paid that to the accused but was not issued with a receipt and promised to raise the remainder of GH¢80,000.00.

Inspector Ayim said the complainant together with his mechanic were later led to Baatsona by the convict to test the machine which was parked in front of a house.

He said the convict gave the mechanic an ignition key to the said vehicle to test it after which the complainant left for Diaso, outside Accra, adding that, two days later, the complainant informed the convict that the remaining money was ready of which the convict gave him an agreement form which he signed.

The prosecution said the complainant was then invited to Accra under the pretext of releasing the excavator to him as well as to meet one Koby, the said owner.

He said the complainant came to Accra with his mechanic and a witness, where they met Sarkodie and two others who claimed to be a policeman and a National Security Operative who then arrested the complainant and the two in his company, alleging that they were dealing in fake currency.

Inspector Ayim said they were later released but the complainant, realised that he had been duped and lodged a formal complaint with the police leading to Sarkodie’s arrest.

He said the convict denied the offence in his cautioned statement but said he took only GH¢8,000.00 from the complainant.

Police investigations later revealed that the excavator belonged to one Eric and not Kobby as the convict had portrayed.