High Court dismisses application to freeze Sir John’s Estate

An Accra High Court has dismissed an application to freeze the estate of Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, aka Sir John, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) had gone to the court for a freezing order to facilitate investigations into purported circumstances in the acquisition by the deceased of protracted lands at Achimota Forest enclave and the Sakumono Ramsar site.

On May 30, this year, the Special Prosecutor directed the freezing of the Estate of Sir John and on June 9, this year, and applied to the High Court for a confirmation of the freezing order.

But on July 12, this year, the High Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, dismissed the application.

Meanwhile the OSP said it would appeal against the decision of the High Court, a statement from the Office said.

“The Judge, with respect, totally misapprehended the application for confirmation of the freezing order and misdirected herself by characterising the application as that of a confiscation order, which regimes as governed by different considerations.

“The regime for an application for confirmation of a freezing order is designed to facilitate an investigation or a prosecution to avoid dissipation of the property in question,” the statement said.

According to the statement, the Special prosecutor has directed the filing of an appeal against the ruling of the High Court.

“The net effect of the ruling of the ruling of the High Court is that a person may, in his lifetime, gleefully acquire property through corruption and then upon his demise happily pass on the corruptly acquired property to his beneficiaries for their benefit and by so doing, extinguish all scrutiny as to the property or otherwise of the acquisition of property because his corrupt activities were not discovered during his lifetime.

“If this decision is left to stand, the Republic will lose the fight against corruption in unimaginable ways.”

It said investigations into the estate of Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie would still proceed.

Source: GNA

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