A state property which was said to have been wrongly appropriated to a foreign company has been retrieved by the National Security Council (NSC).
The state property, formerly known as the Kwame Nkrumah Workers Brigade Workshop and situated at Kanda in Accra, used to be a skills training centre for the youth, but it was sold to an individual under strange circumstances.
The facility has, meanwhile, been closed down on the orders of the NSC, while a craftsman, Mr Kotey Djane, is being questioned by the police for his alleged role in the illegal transaction.
The Commander of Human Security Department of the NSC, Major Ignatius Awuni, told the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra that Mr Djane, a former employee of the defunct Tema Youth Engineering Centre, was contracted by the Centre for Technology Driven Economic Development (CTED).
That was after the government had granted permission and released funds to convert the workshop for use as skills training centre, as part of efforts to generate employment for the youth.
Mr Djane, according to Major Awuni, was to rehabilitate the facility, but he presented himself as the chief executive of the Kanda project and allegedly succeeded in defrauding many equipment dealers of various sums, computers and their accessories, as well as office equipment.
Among his corporate victims was Info Partners and Associates, which subsequently sued him (Mr Djane) at the High Court, leading to the auctioning of the government property for GH¢90,000 to a Lebanese paint company.
An appeal filed against the ruling was upheld, as the court forbade the use of the building by the paint company that had bought the state property.
Major Awuni said in spite of the court order restraining the paint company from using the property, it continued to use the property and even went ahead to develop it .
“All parties knew the building belongs to the state, yet they determined to do what they did, because they thought the state had slept over its assets,” he said.
Mr Moussa Ezzeddine, the Managing Director of Ezzey, the paint company that purchased the facility, denied any wrongdoing when the Daily Graphic contacted him.
He said he had seen a publication in the newspapers on the auction of a 0.9 acre land and he showed interest in the property.
He said he then consulted his lawyers to investigate and check whether it could be bought.
“After assurance from my lawyers, I went to the public auction and we specified the mentioned amount written on the purchase certificate to buy the place,” he said.
He said he went through the process and received the purchase certificate within 21 days as required by law and subsequently registered the land at the Lands
“After renovating the place and putting it in good shape, I am using the warehouse to operate my business which is paints manufacturing,” he said.
Mr Djane, for his part, also denied any wrongdoing, saying all he did, as far as the project was concerned, were legitimate and aimed at working for the good of Ghanaians.
“All I did was to secure the facility for the government,” he said.
Source: Daily Graphic
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