Pressure group Occupy Ghana has dragged former Energy Minister, Dr Oteng-Adjei, to the High Court over his decision to keep a luxury vehicle for his personal use although he was no longer a minister.
The pressure group is asking the court to order Dr Oteng-Adjei to pay the accumulated rental value of the car for the number of days he kept it.
This means he will be paying $500 for each of the 222 days he kept the vehicle – totalling $100,000.
Lawyer and member of the group Ace Ankomah said the Constitution stipulates that state assets must be protected.
He said: “a state asset has been left in the hands of a person who is essentially a private individual for a period of 222 days and so we are asking that the court should order him to pay commercial hiring rate for each day that he kept the vehicle, $500 per day”.
He said the group has taken the matter to court because its members see it as part of their responsibility to protect state assets from abuse.
Lawyer Ace Ankomah
Occupy Ghana has also sued the Attorney General and is asking the court to declare that the state was negligent in allowing Dr. Oteng-Adjei to go away with the vehicle.
Ace Ankomah said “because this is also essentially an action against the state we are asking the court to declare that the state was negligent in not insisting that he returns that vehicle, and so that state is complicit and the state should be compelled to recover the money that the court will declare from him.”
It came to light last month that while Dr Oteng-Adjei was Minister of Energy, he spent $1,745, 159 (GHS5,584,508) on 38 luxury vehicles when there was no budgetary provision for the purchases.
An audit report presented to Parliament by the Auditor-General, Richard Quartey, explains that the vehicles were bought from money meant for extending electricity to 1,200 communities under the Multi-Donor Budgetary Support Programme between 2010 and 2012.
The former Minister has admitted taking home one of the vehicles but added that it was an appropriate reward for his hard work.
He later returned it after huge public criticisms. However reports indicate he still has one official vehicle he is keeping in his custody.
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