It is emerging that Nayele Ametefe aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi, who was jailed in the United Kingdom for dealing in cocaine, is likely to be a beneficiary of the recently-signed prisoner swap deal between Ghana and the British Government.
The agreement, signed on Thursday, implies that Nayele Ametefe aka Angel aka Irene Tawiah and Ruby Appiah, can spend the rest of her eight years’ sentence in Ghana if the agreement takes effect. Even before the agreement takes effect, unconfirmed reports indicate that Ruby Adu-Gyamfi had already been freed about a month ago.
At the signing ceremony, Deputy Attorney General Dominic Ayine said Ghana was the first country in West Africa to enter into such a ‘bilateral agreement’ with the UK government.
‘Ghana passed the transfer of convicted prisoners Act in 2007 and the Act allows the country to receive Ghanaians who have been sentenced to prisons abroad and also to transfer out of Ghana to any receiving country prisoners who are residents of that country.
‘The requirement of the law is that we have to enter into a bilateral arrangement with these countries so that they can transfer prisoners to us and then we can also transfer their citizens back to them when they have been incarcerated in Ghana,’ Mr Dominic Ayine explained.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC), which was in opposition at the time, openly criticized the then New Patriotic Party (NPP) government when the bill, which was eventually passed on July 20, 2007, was brought to Parliament.
They said it was a waste to spend resources to bring convicted Ghanaian prisoners back home while others insisted the prisons were already congested and that prisoners shared limited resources.
Some cynically said the Act was a ploy by some NPP bigwigs to secretly fly down their family relations and others so that they could escape jail terms outside the jurisdiction, while others said it was being done so that the Kufuor government could bring back NPP MP Eric Amoateng, who was serving a jail term in the United States for dealing in heroin, to escape justice.
They sarcastically called it the Amoateng bill.
The circumstances under which Ruby was arrested dominated the political discourse late last year and early this year and put the government’s commitment to fighting the narcotic drugs trade under strenuous test.
Ruby departed Accra on November 9, 2014 and was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London the following day for carrying 12.5 kilos of cocaine in her handbag.
It later emerged that Ruby and her alleged gang of drug smugglers had used the highly restricted Very Very Important Personality (VVIP) section of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra – reserved for the president and his top ministers – to board flight BA078 to London.
Sources said that the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) officials did not let Ruby place her handbag on the detectors due to ‘order from above’ and that was how come the machines could not track the cocaine.
The speed with which NDC government officials, including ministers of state, moved to defend the drug baroness, virtually turning into the convict’s spokespersons, was mind boggling.
NACOB officials also goofed when they claimed they collaborated with their British counterparts in the arrest of Ruby, which turned out to be false.
It also emerged that Ruby was driven to the tarmac at KIA by a powerful government official to board the plane.
In fact, she was brought to the airport by a member of the current administration.
The government, till date, has also not been able to answer the claim that a diplomatic vehicle from the Ghana High Commission in London was on the tarmac at Heathrow on the day of Ruby’s arrest and that the vehicle left without picking anybody.
A British intelligence source also said when Ruby was arrested, the said NDC top official’s telephone number was found on the baroness’ mobile handset as one of the last persons she had called before the BA078 flight left Accra.
Additionally, the same NDC top official was the first person Ruby had called on arrival at Heathrow when the plane touched down on November 10 and she was intercepted by the British law enforcers.
All the six alleged accomplices of Ruby who were arrested in Accra were all let off the hook after the Attorney General filed a nolle prosequi to discontinue the case.