The vehicle retrieved from popular movie actor and National Democratic Congress (NDC) activist, John Dumelo, by National Security operatives, has been moved to the State House Workshop in Accra for maintenance – even as the actor insists he bought it.
Dumelo’s insistence, according to a security analyst, implies that he bought a stolen National Security vehicle fitted with sophisticated communication gadgets.
Since it was seized from the opposition NDC ardent supporter in March this year, the Toyota Land Cruiser V8 cross-country with registration number GE 8118 –16, and chassis number JTMHVOJ2F4159829, 2015, had been parked at the Annex of the Office of the President, near State House in Accra.
Transport Directorate at the seat of government – Flagstaff House – took over the vehicle on Tuesday and was taken to the workshop to be worked on.
Incidentally, the vehicle was moved just after Mr John Dumelo had granted an interview on Joy Fm’s ‘Cosmopolitan Mix’ programme when he insisted that he bought it from an unknown person.
Speaking publicly on the controversial V8 saga for the first time, John said he bought the vehicle from “somebody” and didn’t know or care whether it was a “government car or not.”
He claimed he couldn’t have kept a government vehicle since he was not a state official.
“I will never keep a government car. First of all, I am not a government official so I will never keep a government car. I bought the car from somebody, I bought it,” he insisted.
He underscored, “Some people come and say ‘hey, it’s a government car you have.’ I say to them, keep it. What is a car?” Mr Dumelo explained that it was not a difficult decision to “let it go” because “it’s just a car” which he could have lost in an “accident or anything.”
According to the actor, “In 2010, I bought a car; in 2011, I bought another one; in 2013 (and) 2015 I bought another, so it’s something that I can afford.”
He added, “So when this happened, I said let them take it because of course, they were going around saying ‘we will seize your car.’ It’s a car, I let it go. You can have an accident tomorrow and the car is damaged, so after all, I said, ‘To hell with it.’ I bought myself a new car and moved on.”
The V8 Landcruiser is said to be a very special one fitted with important communication gadgets, suggesting that it is only the National Security operatives and other security agencies that use such vehicles.
Interestingly, the vehicle has been in the custody of the National Security without any attempt by the actor to get it back.
According to the taskforce that impounded the vehicle, John Dumelo was allegedly attempting to conceal the identity of the metallic black Toyota Land Cruiser when the security operatives pounced on it at a garage at Abelemkpe in Accra, where it had purportedly been sent for re-spraying.
When the operatives invited him to the garage, he reportedly panicked before surrendering the expensive vehicle without any protest.
The security men, acting on a tip-off, swooped on the garage and got hold of the auto mechanic, who told them that the vehicle belonged to John Dumelo.
He was then telephoned to come to the garage and upon arrival, he’s reported to have first said that he bought the V8 from a car dealer, Svani Company Limited, and claimed he was yet to complete the payment.
The operatives then keyed in the chassis number into a centralized computer system but the results showed that the vehicle was registered in the name of the National Security Secretariat, which is a property of the Government of Ghana.
Sensing he was getting into trouble, John was reported to have quickly changed his story, claiming that it was the former first lady, Lordina Mahama, who gave the vehicle to him.
The security operatives immediately decided to crosscheck from Lordina to ascertain the facts but the actor (Dumelo) reportedly pleaded with them to stop and just take the vehicle away.
The operatives’ checks at Svani Motors, along the Spintex Road, indicated that the company imported the vehicle for the National Security Council Secretariat and that the company is one of the several auto dealers used by the government to import vehicles for the state.
When DAILY GUIDE inspected the vehicle before it was driven to the workshop, it had been disfigured and was going through re-modeling, with all the parts packed in it.
There were no batteries in the engine and the four tyres had been deflated.
John Dumelo was said to have brought some spare parts from Dubai to enhance the look of the vehicle, ostensibly to disguise it from the public.
There have calls for Dumelo’s arrest since he was changing the features of the vehicle.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that he had not been invited since the seizure of the expensive vehicle.