General News of Friday, 10 February 2017
The personal car of Mr James Agyenim-Boateng has been confiscated by soldiers who stormed his house on Tuesday, the aide to former Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur has said.
According to him, the soldiers claimed they were acting on the instructions of Chief of Staff Frema Osei Opare as part of efforts to retrieve missing state vehicles.
According to Mr Agyenim-Boateng, the soldiers took his car away on grounds that he had not transferred ownership to his name since he took possession of the vehicle in 2012 from whoever sold it to him.
In an audio recording he posted on his Facebook page on Friday, 10 February, the former broadcaster said: “Three soldiers in uniform and plain clothed security person came to my residence. They were in two Toyota Land Cruisers, banged on my gate violently and I went out to meet them, I asked them what the early morning visit was all about. The plain clothed person explained that they had come in search of missing state vehicles.”
“I asked him whether they had a search warrant [but] he replied in the negative. I asked by what authority then were they searching for the cars and he produced a laminated copy of the letter written by the Chief of Staff. I explained that that could not be a substitute for a search warrant; it did not operate as a search warrant. Be that as it may, particularly as I was a law-abiding citizen and I wasn’t keeping any missing vehicle and did not have any stolen vehicle in my custody, I will let them in.”
“I asked them whether they had an inventory, a list of the cars they were looking for, the make, the chassis numbers and registration plate [but] he said no they didn’t. Then I asked: so how could you be looking for what you do not have, or what you do not know?
“Eventually, I let them in, at the end of it they drove away a vehicle that I have had since February 2012, and their point was simply that the vehicle was not in my name even though it was still in the name of the person who sold it to me. As we speak, I don’t have the vehicle anymore.”
Meanwhile, Administrator General, David Yaro has said his office took no inventory of the number of state vehicles left as of the time the Mahama administration was handing over to President Nana Akufo-Addo and his government.
“No we didn’t,” Mr Yaro answered in response to a question about whether he took that inventory.
“We have made sure that these are captured in the handing over notes and the handing over notes were discussed with the incoming and outgoing ministers of state and they agreed.
“So as soon as you do that, it becomes the property of the state or agency in charge and it will now be their responsibility to look at the handing over notes vis-à-vis what is on the ground. We are not to do the physical check to be sure that what is being handed over to them is there before they sign,” he said told Accra-based Joy FM.
There is currently a back-and-forth between the Akufo-Addo government and the erstwhile Mahama administration concerning the number of state vehicles left after the president’s press secretary Eugene Arhin revealed that 208 state cars were missing.
The former government released a statement on Thursday saying it left behind 641 cars and dared the new government to point out the alleged missing ones.