An Accra circuit court has ordered the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to release a vehicle in its custody to Sadalia Nuhu, one of the six persons freed in connection with the exportation of 12.5kg of cocaine to the United Kingdom by convicted Nayele Ametefeh aka Ruby Adu-Gyamfi.
Lawyers for the businesswoman had moved a motion at the court to compel the BNI to release the vehicle it had seized from the applicant during her arrest.
The court, presided over by Justice Francis Obiri, said the car had been with the BNI since October 2014 and stated that the security agency ought to have completed whatever investigation it sought to do in respect of the car by then.
He contended that the vehicle that the state alleged to be a stolen one could not be because there was evidence in court to indicate payment of duty on the said car.
In the view of the judge, the laxity with which some officers of state agencies go about their duties will make the development of the nation difficult.
Justice Obiri said the BNI had flouted a July 7, 2015 order that sought to order the security agency to release the said vehicle to the applicant.
On this, the trial judge said he had expected the Attorney General to charge the person who disobeyed the court order, adding that this style of doing things by the BNI in the current democratic dispensation must be nipped in the bud.
Justice Obiri said he lacked the appetite to reason with the state not to release the vehicle to Ms Nuhu.
He said the BNI had been given two months to conduct any further investigation in respect of the background of the car.
Within that period, the high court judge sitting with additional responsibility as a circuit court judge ordered that the applicant should not lease, sell or give the said vehicle to anybody.
Justice Obiri stated that Ms Nuhu had the liberty to do whatsoever she wished with the vehicle after the two months if the security agency found nothing incriminating in connection with the vehicle.
Earlier, Andrew Vortia, counsel for Ms Nuhu, moving the motion in the court, stated that the applicant was charged with a narcotic-related offence and that she was freed but the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) accosted Ms Nuhu and seized the BMW SUV X3 vehicle from her and had failed to release it to her.
Mr Vortia stated that there was no evidence, as the state wants the court to believe, that the said vehicle was a stolen one.
Opposing the motion, Matthew Amponsah, a chief state attorney, was emphatic that the court should not grant the request of the applicant, adding that the said vehicle was ‘tainted with crime.’
By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
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