Court denies Special Prosecutor’s asset freezing application

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The Special Prosecutor’s application to extend his authority to freeze the assets of the late Chief Executive (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, affectionately called Sir John, has been denied by the Accra High Court.

Kissi Agyebeng’s application to the court follows investigations into state lands among other properties that were included in Mr Afriyie’s will which sparked public outcry.

It was discovered in May this year that Sir John had acquired several parcels of land at the Sakumono Ramsar site and the Achimota Forest Reserve which were captured in his will.

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The politician had given four plots of land in the Achimota Forest to some relatives of his in addition to some enormous sums of money which were saved in both domestic and international bank accounts.

In a press release issued on May 26 in response to the public outcry that followed the revelation, the OSP stated that it has started an investigation into the state lands in contention.

After, the Special Prosecutor submitted documents to the court to confirm his power to freeze the assets under Section 38 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, Act 959, which grants the SP the power to take such action if he believes it is required for investigations.

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Per the law, he has fourteen days to seek the court’s confirmation of the freezing order. The Special Prosecutor filed the existing processes as a result.

However, the court presided over by her ladyship Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, on July 12, 2022, denied the application saying that the Special Prosecutor should have started the proceedings under Section 54 of the Act.

But the SP has indicated his intention to appeal the case since the judge misinterpreted the application to mean a confiscation order.

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