No Records On 2 Firms’ Confiscation

The Chief Investigations Officer in charge of Confiscated Assets, Office of the President, Mr. John Kweku Mensah, has denied knowledge of the confiscation of two timber firms at Akim Oda, in the Eastern Region, by the State.

Holex Ghana Limited and Priorities Ghana Limited are said to have been confiscated, which resulted in the payment of 34 billion old cedis to the owner, Nana Woode, as compensation by the government.

But the Chief Investigator told the Judgement Debts Commission yesterday, that there were no records on any such transactions at the office, and that he had never heard of the names Holex and Priorities Ghana Limited until he was subpoenaed by the Commission to testify to their confiscation.

“My Lord, I was surprised when I received the subpoena to come and answer questions on the confiscation of the two companies.  I have never heard of the names, and I do not even know the owner,” he told the Sole Commissioner, Mr. Justice Yaw Apau.

Surprisingly, there are no records on when the companies were confiscated by the State, as well as factors that precipitated their seizure, and the Attorney-General’s Department does not have any documents on the matter either.

Mr. Kofi Dometi Sokpor, lead counsel of the Commission, told the witness that the money was paid by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department upon the instructions of the Ministry of Finance.

Mr. Mensah said that the committee dealt with property which were confiscated by the National Liberation Council (NLC), National Redemption Council (NRC), Supreme Military Council (SMC) 1 and 2, Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), and the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

He said the Confiscated Assets Committee was not aware of some of the assets that the military governments confiscated.

For an update, the Sole Commissioner, requested Mr. Mensah (witness) to provide the Commission with the list of all confiscated property that had been de-confiscated from 1992 to date, and the procedure for their deconfiscation.

In another development, the Solicitor Secretary of the Lands Commission, Mr. Kwame Poku Buah, also told the Commission that out of 17 cases filed against the Lands Commission for compensation and failed allocations, only two had been settled.

He said lands acquired for the construction of the Odorgonno Senior High School in Accra, and the Bui Dam in the Brong-Ahafo Region, among others, had not been paid for, and that the cases were still  pending before the law courts.

Sitting continues today.  By Castro Zangina-Tong

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