Nii Lante Packs Out

Some of the lugguage parked into the vehicle.Photo Mercy AmparbengThe Public Works Department (PWD) yesterday, took over the bungalow of  Nii Lante Vanderpuije, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry.

This was shortly after some officers of the PWD had taken inventory of the house in the presence of his wife.
The move follows an instruction from President John Dramani Mahama to the deputy minister to vacate the premises following a high court order insisting on him (Mr. Vanderpuije) to do so, to pave the way for Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey to take occupation of the house.

Earlier on, some irate youths besieged the bungalow yesterday morning to stop him from evacuating.
A visit by The Ghanaian Times to the bungalow at Ridge Residential in Accra, showed tens of the angry youths  in white T-shirts with an inscription on their front, “Stop purchasing government properties”.

According to the youths, they disagreed with the court order and considered it inappropriate for any member of the public to purchase government property irrespective of the circumstances surrounding the purchase.

The officers of the PWD, after taking the inventory, asked them to leave the house, but the youths, led by one Baba, refused to leave and held that that they would not allow any person to take over the house.

The officers later requested for police security over the bungalow to ensure that the angry mob leave.
Mr. Vaderpuije’s wife was asked to sign and attest to the inventory taken because the husband was out of the country and would be back next week Wednesday.

Some occupants of the house, were also seen packing out of the house but were unwilling to speak to the press.
Akosua Agyapong, an officer of PWD, who led the team to lock the place, said the wife willingly came to their end to inform them about their decision to vacate and subsequently asked that the PWD took inventory before they go.

She told The Ghanaian Times that everything in the house was intact and that they would soon ensure police security on the premises until the house was handed over to Mr. Lamptey.

The NPP chairman bought the bungalow in 2008 after he had occupied it for eight years as a minister under the erstwhile Kufuor regime.

He claimed to have bought the bungalow under a redevelopment policy introduced in the 1990s.
When the NPP government lost power in 2008, the Mills administration took over the bungalow and allocated it to Nii Lante Vanderpuije who was then an aide to the late President John Mills.

Two members of the NDC, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Omane Boamah, later took the matter to the Supreme Court, challenging the propriety of the sale of the bungalow.

They accused Jake of dabbling in conflict of interest and abuse of office. The court pronounced judgment in favour of Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and a high court subsequently ordered the release of the bungalow’s keys to Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.   By Charles Amankwa

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