Sunday, August 31, 2008

WOMAN DECLARES HUSBAND DEAD...In attempt to claim SSNIT benefits (MIRROR, LEAD STORY)

From Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

SHE boldly walked to the SSNIT office in Kumasi to allegedly make a false claim that her husband had died, to enable her to claim the necessary benefits. But the plan backfired at the last minute as family members of the man alerted SSNIT officials that the “deceased” was alive, leading to the arrest of the woman, Vida Acheampong.
Thirty-seven-year-old petty trader, Vida, who undertook the fruitless mission together with a man who falsely claimed to be the family head of the “deceased”, was arrested and had since been granted police enquiry bail pending further investigations into the matter.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) F. Abrokwa, Commander of District ‘A’ of the Kumasi Central Police, told The Mirror that Vida was married to Kwadwo Badu and the couple had three children.
Badu, who used to work with a mining company, was retrenched and about five years ago travelled with a friend to Nkawkaw in search of a job.
Since then the woman had heard nothing from the man and had been struggling to cater for the education and other needs of the children.
On August 14, this year, Vida went to the SSNIT office in Kumasi to inform officials that her husband had died and provided the SSNIT officials with the date of death as April 24, 2004 and that she was there to claim the necessary benefits.
DSP Abrokwa said the SSNIT officials asked her to provide evidence of the death of her husband before they could go ahead with the processing of the documents.
Vida, according to the District Commander, went back and got one Edward Yaw Baah to falsely show himself as the head of the family of the “deceased”.
The said Baah, who is yet to be arrested, swore an affidavit to the effect that he was the family head of the “deceased”.
DSP Abrokwa stated that SSNIT officials took two passport-size pictures of Baah as well as his fingerprints and asked them to go while they processed the documents.
Meanwhile news of Vida’s dubious claim got to some family members of Badu. They rushed to the SSNIT office to deny the claim that their relative was dead.
Vida was consequently arrested but the police were yet to trace the whereabouts of Baah, her accomplice.

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