Justice Ekow Baiden, a judge at the Court of Appeal is currently facing charges of defrauding by false pretence.
The case revolves around allegations made by a woman based in France that he deceived her and swindled her out of a sum of US$190,000.
According to a police report dated July 23, 2021, and quoted by Ghana Web, the complainant, Bire Marie-Dominique, a Senegalese residing in France, had travelled to Ghana with the intention of exploring business opportunities and finding accommodation there.
“In the same year, the complainant made periodic visits to Ghana in search of investment opportunities. She needed a place to stay permanently in Ghana. During her search for accommodation, she came across an estate company named Habitat Real Estates, which was offering apartments for sale. She established contact with someone named Ahmed Meyaki, who identified himself as the Managing Director of the company.
“This individual sent her photographs of several apartments to choose from, and she decided to purchase one of the apartments. Ahmed Meyaki introduced her to Abdul Gafaru, whom he claimed was a lawyer and assured her of the legitimacy of the purchase. The complainant was also introduced to Jar Gardziella from Finland, who was said to be associated with the company,” as stated in the investigative report by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service.
According to the police, in April 2021, Marie-Dominique transferred a sum of US$190,000 into a bank account owned by Justice Ekow Baiden, who was introduced to her as the property owner.
“In April 2021, the complainant made a total payment of US$190,000.00 into Standard Chartered Bank account No. 940009155729, held under the name Charles Edward Ekow Baiden. Baiden was presented as a High Court ‘8’ Judge and the supposed owner of the apartment. By May 2021, the complainant and the alleged property owner agreed that she could take possession. However, although Baiden handed over the apartment keys, he failed to formalize any agreement.
“When the complainant confronted Baiden about the absence of an agreement, he claimed that the property’s cost was actually US$250,000.00. The complainant found this price to be excessively high and requested a refund of her money. Despite her request, Baiden did not refund the money. The police are currently searching for the suspects,” the statement further detailed.
Meanwhile, Mensah Thompson, the Executive Secretary of ASEPA Ghana, has alleged that the complainant was forced to leave Ghana due to death threats and a defamation lawsuit that she faced while attempting to recover her funds.
“When Madam Marie-Dominique, a French national residing in Paris, came to Ghana for business purposes, she needed a place to live. She acquired a property belonging to Justice Ekow Baiden, who was a High Court Judge at the time and is now with the Appeals Court. She paid $190,000 to the judge, who later claimed not to have full rights to the property and thus could not transfer ownership to the victim.
“The victim then requested a refund of the $190,000 she had paid to the judge. In response, she received death threats and was slapped with a defamation lawsuit, compelling her to leave Ghana. She is now unwell in Paris and is fearful of returning to Ghana due to concerns for her safety.
“A judge from our own courts subjected a foreigner to these actions,” ASEPA’s leader added.