A-G Urged To Sue Fraudulent Judgement Debt Claimants

MRS.MARIETTA BREW APPIAH-OPPONG MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND ATTORNEY GENERAL (3)The Attorney-General’s Department has been urged to sue one Dr. Kofi Ohene for allegedly obtaining a fraudulent judgement award which led to the sale of all assets belonging to Subin Timbers Company, in 2008.

The head of the secretariat of the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC), Mr. Asakkua Agambilla, yesterday told the Judgement Debts Commission that legal action needed to be taken against Dr. Ohene to retrieve all monies he illegally obtained over the sale.

The Commission is investigating what it described as “fraudulent judgement award” involving the AG’s Department and one Daniel Kofi Adobor, the legal adviser to Dr. Ohene, who sought the assistance of the AG’s Department to defraud the state.

Dr. Ohene is said to have obtained the judgement award and sold the company’s assets to some Ivoirians after the A-G’s Department, on a directive by the Office of the President in 2008, ordered that the assets of Subin Timbers be released to him.

According to Mr. Agambilla, documents available to the DIC indicated that Dr. Ohene was not the owner of the company but just a shareholder and therefore did not have the right to sell its assets.

Mr. Agambilla made these disclosures when he appeared before the Commission to explain circumstances that led to the sale of the company.

In response, the Sole Commissioner said he would invite the A-G’s Department to probe further into the matter.

Explaining the circumstances leading to the alleged fraud, Mr. Agambilla said Subin Timbers Company, together with Central Logging and Sawmill Company, were confiscated to the state in 1982, for flouting laws regarding the operations of the timber business in the country, and later, both were merged and renamed Western Timbers.

He said the government again amalgamated the Western Timbers Company with government’s own timber firm called the Takoradi Veneer and Lumber Ltd. and renamed it the Western Veneer Company Limited which was also later diversified and sold to an Italian investor, Ivo Fiorini, in 2007.

“However, in 2000, Mr. Kofi Ohene, the father of Dr. Ohene petitioned the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to help him retrieve Subin Timbers,” he said.

Mr. Agambilla said CHRAJ, upon its investigations, forwarded its recommendations to the A-G’s Department, which later sought the assistance of the Assets Restoration Committee (ARC) to help Mr. Ohene reclaim the company but he passed on at the initial stages.

According to him, the ARC also looked into the matter and ordered that GH¢ 543,000 be paid to Dr. Ohene, the successor of Mr. Ohene as compensation but, that offer was rejected by him.

“Dr. Ohene later beseiged the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) set up by the Kufour Administration to help him de-confiscate the property”, he said.

Mr. Agambilla explained to the commission that when the directive was not adhered to, Mr. Ohene petitioned the President who then asked the AG’s Department to de-confiscate the property and hand it over to Dr. Ohene.

“The A-G’s Department followed the directive and claimed the company for Dr. Ohene who then sold all its assets by the first week of January 2009,” he said.

A legal representative from the Ministry of Finance, Mr. David Agbale, who also appeared before the Commission, pleaded for time to produce all the documents on the payment of monies to African Automobile Company in judgment debt

.By Charles Amankwa 

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