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Zuleika’s Passport Seized   
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Zuleika, wife of Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, former Minister for Information, was yesterday hauled to an Accra Circuit Court on charges of allegedly using abusive language and assault on Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) operatives.

The accused person, who stormed the court in the company of her husband, was also charged for allegedly preventing the BNI officers from seizing the passport of her husband at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), after the officers refused to disclose their identities and under whose instructions they were acting.

She pleaded not guilty to assault, using abusive language and forcibly collecting a passport from a security officer, in a court presided over by Mrs. Adwoa Coleman. Mrs. Asamoah-Boateng was granted a GH¢50,000 bail while the trial judge ordered her to surrender her passport to the court registrar, after Mr. Peter Okudzeto, counsel for Zuleika, prayed the court for bail for his client. The couple was scheduled to board a British Airways flight to go on holidays abroad with their two kids, aged 4 and 2 years, when officers of the BNI pounced on them and attempted to seize the passport of the former minister. Zuleika resisted and eventually snatched the passports back, alleging that the operatives refused to identify themselves.

The wife of the former minister, meanwhile, had been reporting to the BNI twice a week where she was charged with ‘attempting to defraud the state’ and bonded with a GH¢100,000 bail. Narrating his side of the incident, the prosecuting officer, DSP A. Boye, told the court that the wife of the former minister on June 14, 2009 at KIA struggled with officers of the BNI who tried to stop her husband from travelling outside the country.

According to him, she snatched the passport of her husband which had then been collected from him by one of the officers and yelled at them for infringing on the rights of her husband by attempting to seize his passport. He said the wife of the former minister was arraigned after police investigations. Outside the courtroom, some members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) such as Hon. Kan Dapaah, former Minister of the Interior, Mrs. Cecilia Dapaah, and Mr. Osei Adjei, former Foreign Minister, were in court to show solidarity with the couple. Friends and relatives of Zuleika, who also thronged the court, held some placards with some reading, ‘Fix The Economy Not Asabee’, ‘Women Are Their Own Enemies’, and ‘Leave Asabee And His Family Alone’. The case has been adjourned to July 9, 2009.

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