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Businessman jailed 12 months over bigamy

An Accra Circuit Court has sentenced a businessman to a jail term of 12 months for bigamy.

Emmanuel Kodjo Narh got married to a nurse resident in the United States while still legally married to his wife in Ghana.

The court presided over by Christina Cann, however, acquitted Narh on the charge of the threat of harm.

The court noted that the prosecution had been able to prove the offence of bigamy, but they were unable to prove the charge of the threat of harm.

The case of Prosecution is that the complainant whose name is withheld is a nurse resident in the USA and a native of Odumase Krobo.

Sometime in June 2015, while the complainant was in the USA, she received a call from her caretaker in Ghana that a road was being constructed on her parcel of land.

The prosecution said the caretaker then provided five phone numbers including Narh’s to the complainant.

It said the complainant called the numbers and Narh introduced himself and promised to address the challenge on the land.

The prosecution said through interactions, the complainant and Narh became friends. 

Narh called the complainant daily to check up on her.

In August 2015, Narh proposed to the complainant, but she indicated that since they did not know themselves well and they had not met in person, she would be coming to Ghana for them to talk about the proposal.

The prosecution said on October 26, 2015, the complainant met Narh for the first time on her arrival at the airport.

It said on October 28, 2015, Narh engaged the complainant with a ring and took her to meet his family and some of his workers.

The prosecution said Narh had earlier told the complainant that he had six children with two other women but was married to none of them.

It said the complainant also told Narh that she was also a divorcee.

The Prosecution said after the engagement, the complainant went back to the States in November 2015.

It said Narh’s family went to the complainant’s family house for the bridal list and performed the marriage rites in her absence.

The prosecution said the complainant returned to Ghana again and went with Narh to Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly where the marriage was subsequently registered with certificate number LMKMA/MC/2015/18.

It said the complainant later saw another certificate of marriage between Narh and another woman with license number SMC/028/09 dated October 4, 2008.

She confronted Narh on that discovery and indicated that she would no longer continue with the marriage.

On April 24, 2016, the complainant’s ‘rival’ attacked and subjected her to physical abuse because she had taken over her husband.

The prosecution said the matter was reported to the Police at Odumase and Narh’s other wife was arrested.

It said Narh submitted his witness statement indicating that the two women were his wives.

The prosecution said the complainant returned to the USA and begged to discontinue the fictitious marriage.

On June 3, 2019, the complainant received a threatening message on WhatsApp from Narh through his son’s phone which read “We shall see, but this time, this is going to be a tribal war, I swear.”

It said the complainant petitioned the Director General of the Criminal Investigation Department through her lawyer and the matter was referred to the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit at the Police Headquarters, Accra.

The prosecution said Narh was invited and submitted his statement indicating that the marriage between him and the complainant was a “planned thing” to facilitate documents for her daughter to travel to the States.

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