119 Illegal Immigrants Arrested at Sogakope

Some 119 illegal immigrants have been apprehended at the Sogakope inland checkpoint in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region.

The immigrants who are suspected to be mostly ECOWAS nationals were apprehended by personnel of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), on January 23, 2021, at about 6:15 am.

Preliminary investigation suggests that the suspects who did not have the requisite border crossing documents may have entered the country illegally through different unapproved routes with the assistance of cross border syndicates.

The commander at the Checkpoint, Chief Superintendent Maxwell Osae Badu who confirmed the arrest explained that the suspects were arrested at Sogakope after they had clandestinely used the services of motorbike riders to outwit officers at the checkpoint.

In their quest to wait at a spot on the blindside of the officers to wait for their respective drivers to continue the journey, they were rounded up.

The suspects include 116 males and three females; made up of 67 from Nigeria 35 from Niger, nine from Togo, three from Cote d’Ivoire, four from Benin and a Ghanaian.

Chief Supt Badu further revealed that eight minibus drivers were suspected to have aided the illegal movements of the suspects. The said drivers are Ebenezer Ativor, Jonas Agbadi, Godwin Ganu, Godwin Abordzi, Kavi Prison Noah, Nigro Aziegba, Simon Gadasu and Sylvester Sosu. The registration of their respective vehicles are VR 629-13, GT 5456-12, AS 7947-18, GT 7146-20, GM 5497-13, VR 295-11, VD 54-20 and AS 4579-09.

A statement issued by the Public Affairs Officer of the GIS in the Volta Region, Felix Klu Adjei said, the suspects in their written statements confessed that after reaching neighbouring Togo from their respective ECOWAS countries, they entered Ghana through unapproved routes with the help of commercial motorbike (Okada) riders. These routes they claim they could not identify except with assistance from the riders.

Some of the suspects claimed they intended to transit to Cote d’Ivoire while others disclosed going to Accra to visit friends and relatives.

Mr Adjei noted that the suspects, excluding the Ghanaian, have since been sent back to Togo through appropriate processes after necessary investigation and Covid-19 safety protocols were concluded.

He, therefore, warned that “the Ghana Immigration Service is hereby cautioning all drivers who are in the habit of practising such illegal activity to put an end to it or face the consequences when apprehended.”

From Fred Duodu, Ho (k.duodu@yahoo.com)