How Baby & Parents Faced Deportation From US
In November 2004, a 5-week-old baby named Jade Odum, became a victim of Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie’s visa racketeering activities at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) although the little boy was born in Northern Kentucky in the United States of America.
Poor Baby Jade, was sent to Kentucky’s Children Services System, virtually serving as an “orphan” because his parents, including his biological mother, Yaa Boatemaa Boateng, an ex-worker at the GNPC, had both entered America illegally, and been imprisoned.
When Alarm blew in 2004, the then Chairman of GNPC Board and the Managing Director of Prudential Bank Ltd, Stephen Sekyere Abankwa, Moses O Boateng, then Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GNPC, together with some elements at the Castle moved and killed the story, so as not to publicly ridicule government.
Both Yaa Boatemaa and Baby Jade were later deported to Ghana. The father of the boy stayed behind as papers were later found to be genuine. Baby Jade can return to the US anytime having been born there. But Yaa Boatenmaa is restricted from entering the US for the rest of her life.
The revelation that New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) General Secretary nicknamed “Sir John” was involved in visa fraud comes on the heels of a damning GNPC Board Subcommittee’s report, which disclosed that he was driven out of the GNPC over his illicit sexual affairs with his female subordinates, as well as, his attempt to dupe Gaddafi’s Libyan government.
The visa racketeering, illicit sexual affairs, gross insubordinations to his boss and his criminal conduct of attempted fraud, led to him been chased out of his position as Deputy Managing Director in-charge of Legal and Administration at GNPC.
In the specific case of the 5-week-old baby, insiders told The Herald that Sir John, secured the US visa for his girlfriend by name, Yaa Boatemaa in a fictitious manner, the lady was working in the Administration, but Sir John used his position to push her into Geophysics and Geologists that were travelling to USA for a technical training.
The lady succeeded and travelled, but never returned. She then got married in USA, and got pregnant, whiles Sir John was blacklisted from seeing his onetime lover.
In October 2004, Baby Jade Odum was born in the US, but his Ghanaian parents were declared illegal immigrants and had to be deported to Ghana by immigration officials.
Baby Jade was sent to Kentucky’s children services system, because his parents had both entered America illegally, and later changed their status as college students from Ghana.
US immigration officials at the time said Jade’s parents broke the law when they “falsely and wilfully” represented themselves as citizens of the United States. They were arrested on November 18, 2004, attracting a very a wide media coverage in the US.
Immigration officials at the time revealed that Jade’s mother, Yaa Boateng, had arrived from Ghana on a student visa in early 2003, got admitted to study at Northern Kentucky University, but later dropped out, invalidating her visa and putting her in violation of immigration laws.
A public defender, Lisa Bushelman, asked a federal magistrate to release Boateng on bond, so she could be with her child. But the magistrate insisted Boateng must first make a request for her release with immigration officials and then, if they refuse, try again with an immigration judge.
“We are definitely in limbo right now,” Bushelman said. “Everybody is trying really hard to help her. It’s just such a strange set of circumstances.”
Bushelman said, Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services had custody of the child.
The charges against Jade’s parents carried a penalty of up to six months with a deportation order after the conviction.
It’s at that point that the parents would be forced to decide whether to take Jade back with them to Ghana or to leave him behind. Bushelman said she doubts her client would opt for the latter.
Bushelman’s immediate concern then was reuniting the mother and child.
“This is very difficult for her,” Bushelman said. “It’s not the most positive thing for a mom.”
The officer s at the time said if the child does return with his parents to Ghana, he would retain his citizenship and could come back to the United States at any time.
Had Jade’s parents been convicted, the US authorities would have prevented them from ever returning.
The Herald last Monday, revealed some dirty secrets of why and how the NPP General Secretary, Mr. Owusu-Afriyie was fired from GNPC, while serving as the Deputy Managing Director in-charge of Administration, before vying for his present job.
According to a report of a Board Subcommittee, he was driven out of the GNPC over his illicit sexual affairs with his female subordinates, as well as, an attempt to dupe Gaddafi’s Libyan government with a fraudulent claim that the Ghanaian government, led by John Kufuor needed money for various projects it was undertaking.
The NPP General Secretary, who is seeking re-election, also criminally impersonated some officials at GNPC and using letterheads of the Corporation without the knowledge and authority of the Managing Director, Moses O Boateng who according to the report Sir John, had grossly disrespected.
The Board subcommittee was purposely setup by the then GNPC Board chaired by Mr. Sekyere-Abankwa, to investigate causes of deteriorating top management relationship at GNPC and discovered that Mr. Owusu-Afriyie, was the main bug eating up the prestigious Corporation, and demanded he resigned or get fired from his lucrative job.
A very embarrassed Lawyer Owusu-Afriyie, the report said, with a speed of light signed his letter of resignation with effect from March 8, 2004, leaving without receiving any benefits from GNPC.
Those who attended the Board’s meeting that sacked Sir John were; Mr. Sekyere-Abankwa who apart from being the Chairman of the Board, was also the MD of the Prudential Bank, C.Y. Adu-Gyamfi, M. O. Boateng, Armiyao Harruna, Muriel Holdbrook-Smith, Patrick Nutor and Tettey.
Others who also attended the meeting were John Boateng, Thomas Manu and Naomi Adashie, Legal Consultant, Director of Operations and Recorder, respectively.
On March 11, 2004 the Board “critically examined the findings and recommendations of the subcommittee and endorsed them after exhaustive discussion. The specific findings and recommendations that took time to discuss and conclude were those that related to the former Ag. Deputy Managing Director (Ag-DMD), Mr. Owusu-Afriyie”.
“The Minutes Of the 24th Board Meeting” in the possession of The Herald reveal the subcommittee members as saying they received, “during their deliberations, adequate evidence bearing on the conduct of the Ag. DMD (Sir John), which they considered unedifying”.
“Accordingly, they had determined that Mr. Owusu-Afriyie, was guilty of misconduct and should be asked to resign voluntarily without benefits; but if he failed to do so then, he should be dismissed”.
Some of the evidence of misconduct considered by the subcommittee concerned Mr. Owusu-Afriyie’s relationship with the Managing Director (MD) and other management staff, as well as, his illicit relationship with some female staff of GNPC.
“The usurpation of powers and functions that belonged to the MD alone by him also appalled members of the subcommittee. Besides, the subcommittee commented at length particularly on Mr. Owusu-Afriyie’s letter to the Libyan Government by which he had solicited funding for various projects alleged to be undertaken in Ghana,” the report said.
“In writing the said letter the subcommittee found that Mr. Owusu-Afriyie had pretended to be doing so with the consent and approval of the Government of the Republic of Ghana and other functionaries of the Government, when in fact he could not prove such mandate or authorization”.
“Also, the said letter had been written by him pretending to be the Deputy Managing Director of GNPC, whose letterhead he had used without prior authorization and approval of the MD. The said letter also showed evidence that it had been copied to several prominent public and private persons in Ghana, but this has been found to be untrue”, the report said.
At the end of their deliberations, members of the Board accepted the main recommendation of the subcommittee as regards Mr. Owusu-Afriyie and agreed that his letter of resignation should take effect from March 8, 2004 as his letter indicated.
The Chairman accordingly directed that a letter accepting his resignation, should be dispatched to him indicating that his resignation had been accepted, but no benefits would be paid to him.
He should accordingly be requested to return his duty post vehicle immediately and leave his duty post accommodation within three (3) months, after having settled all utility bills outstanding.
Next, Members considered other findings and recommendations of the subcommittee dealing with the management style of MD. The subcommittee had in its report commented that the MD did not apply laid-down procedures in effecting disciplinary action against staff.
The Committee found that the MD preferred verbal caution instead of the more formal procedure of a written caution, which would show on staff records to serve as a deterrent to erring staff members. The committee recommended that the MD should in future be more assertive, in order to establish his superior and ultimate authority.
Also, the members of the Committee were of the opinion that it was because the MD failed to assert his authority that Mr. Owusu-Afriyie was enabled to usurp his functions, thereby arrogating to himself authority and powers that he did not have. More to Come!