Thursday, April 9, 2015

Two sue Akufo-Addo over use of state vehicle

Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo
Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo

Two individuals have dragged the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to court for allegedly possessing a state vehicle for 20 months.
According to the plaintiffs, Messrs Alex Doe and George Spencer Quaye, the defendant acted in contravention of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana when he used the said vehicle for 20 months after leaving public office.
The suit comes barely a month after a pressure group, OccupyGhana, and one of its directors had sued a former Minister of Energy, Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, for keeping a state vehicle months after leaving office.
The group and its director, Mr Sydney Casely-Hayford, are asking the court to order the former minister to pay GH¢355,812 as special damages for what they termed “illegal and wrongful” use of the vehicle for a period of 222 days.
But the writ of summons filed against Nana Akufo-Addo has not specified any amount.
It is, however, asking the High Court to declare that “the defendant, having resigned as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in July 2007, ought to return the vehicle and not keep same for private use for close to 20 calendar months between July 2007 and January 8, 2009”.
Another relief being sought by the plaintiffs is a “declaration that the act of the defendant to keep the said vehicle for his private use was unacceptable of someone aspiring to be the President of the Republic of Ghana”.
The plaintiffs are also urging the court to direct the Auditor-General to compute the cost of usage of the said vehicle, a Toyota Land Cruiser with registration number GT 1983 X, for 20 months at the current rental rate in Ghana.
They are asking for a further order directed at the defendant to pay the computed sum with interest with effect from 2007 to the date of final payment.

Statement of claim

A statement of claim accompanying the writ of summons, which was signed on behalf of the plaintiffs by BCMS Consulting, a law firm in Accra, stated, among other things, that the said vehicle was bought on April 1, 2006 and assigned to Nana Akufo-Addo.
It said the plaintiff, instead of returning the vehicle after resigning, decided to use it privately.
“Plaintiff says that this unacceptable behaviour and act of the defendant violates the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and also was an act or behaviour of a person unfit to contest and occupy any public office,” it pointed out.
It added that “the defendant’s act was a drain on the finances of the state” and thus he must be made to refund all losses incurred to the state.

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