General News of Monday, 26 November 2018
Former Minister for Youth and Sports under the Mahama government, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, has petitioned President Akufo-Addo over the seizure of a Toyota Camry vehicle he bought from the presidential pool when the NDC government was leaving power.
According to him, he returned the car upon the instruction of the Director of Security at the presidency, Captain Edmund Koda, and was to receive a refund of the cash value of the car.
In his petition, Afriyie Ankrah lamented that despite returning the vehicle eight months ago and following up with several demands for a return of his money, no effort has been made to return the money to him.
“In a letter dated 28th March 2018, Captain Edmund Koda, writing in his capacity as Director of Security specifically requested me to surrender to him the aforementioned vehicle on the ground that it was part of the pool of vehicles that were handed over to the current administration on 7th January 2017. In the said letter, he also directed that I furnish his outfit with all the relevant documentation regarding the purchase of the vehicle in order to ensure that the entire amount would be refunded to me after I had surrendered the vehicle”
“For the avoidance of doubt, I must state that in my quest to demonstrate that I acted lawfully in good faith and without knowledge that that said vehicle was part of the pool of vehicles handed over to the current administration, I wrote a letter to Captain Edmund Koda and explained the full circumstances regarding the purchase of the car. As a law-abiding citizen, in the same letter, I reiterated my readiness to expeditiously surrender the vehicle to this outfit”
“Even though I surrendered the vehicle to Captain Koda as far back as on the 22nd of April, 2018, Captain Koda has only acknowledged receipt of same, but has neglected, failed and or refused to take steps to ensure that the consideration I paid to acquire the vehicles is refunded to me despite repeated demands,” excepts of the petition read.
Within the first quarter of 2017, after the NPP government assumed office, it set up a ‘Task-force on Retrieval of State Assets’ with the sole mandate of retrieving state assets supposedly stolen by members of the previous government.
The period saw the seizure of vehicles of some persons in or associated with the previous government.
For some of the vehicles that were seized, the government said that the vehicles did not meet the conditions under which they could be sold to outgoing members of the government.
Then NDC National Organizer, Kofi Adams and John Dumelo an actor, who openly declared his support for the NDC both had their vehicles seized.
Kofi Adams’ vehicles were later returned to him.
Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, who also suffered the seizure of his vehicle said in his petition that the behaviour of the security director smacks of bad faith.
“….it smacks of extreme bad faith that long after the vehicle and all relevant documentation have been provided, the refund has not been effectuated. Till date, I have not received any communication from him with respect to when the refund will even be done.”
He further explained to the president that his subsequent petitions to the Chief of Staff over the matter have yielded no result hence his decision to take the matter up to the presidency.
Elvis Afriyie Ankrah in the petition is urging Akufo-Addo to ensure that the cash value of the car be refunded to him or the vehicle be returned to him as expected. He is also calling for a full investigation into the processes before and after the seizure of his vehicle.
“In the light of the indifference of Captain Koda to my legitimate demands and to nip in the bud, this act of injustice that is being perpetrated against me, in a letter dated, 11th September 2018, I petitioned the Chief of Staff to inquire into the full circumstances, and to further ensure that either the full consideration I paid is refunded to me or in the alternative the same vehicle be returned to me in the same condition in which it was at the time that I surrendered it on the 22nd of April, 2018. It has been eight months now and I have also not received any feedback from the Chief of Staff.”
“It is against the backdrop of the foregoing that I am petitioning your good office to ensure that steps are taken to ensure that: i. The sum of GH¢ 37,402.73 (Thirty Seven Thousand, Four Hundred and Two Cedis, Seventy Three Pesewas) being the total amount I spent in acquiring the vehicle be refunded to me as soon as practicable, or
ii. The Toyota Camry with registration No. UE 136 – 14 (ER 357 – 17) and Chassis nu. 6TIBF9F9FKIEX499913
iii. A full investigation is conducted into the matter to ascertain legitimacy of all processes that have been taken so far as the surrender of the vehicle since there is growing public perception and rumour that such seizures are unauthorized and vehicles seized in such a manner are either distributed to friends and cronies or resold on the open market.”
Probe sale of cars under Mahama
Pressure Group OccupyGhana, earlier this year wrote a letter to the presidency urging it to probe the sale of state vehicles to some appointees of the previous government.
It said the investigations were necessary because it suspected that due processes were not followed to dispose of the vehicles.