The Member of Parliament for Wa Central, Rashid Pelpuo, has described as wrong the continuous harassment of ex-government officials believed to have in their possession state properties.
The home of the National Organiser of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kofi Adams, was raided on February 1 by men believed to be operatives of the National Security and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) making away with vehicles belonging to him.
The vehicles had since been returned, according to the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah.
Commenting on the issue on Monday, February 6, 2017, Mr. Pelpuo said there is nothing wrong with the State trying to retrieve assets that belong to it, but it should be done within the frames of the Constitution.
“If the state feels very strongly that there are State assets that [it knows] are missing and finds the need to retrieve them then there will be no problem with that,” he told Nii Arday Clegg on Monday on Morning Starr.
Nonetheless, the challenge he warned is when secret operatives are deployed to harass members of the erstwhile Mahama administration on the mere believe that they have in their possession State properties.
“In that speculation, they may be hurting individuals who are completely innocent and that is where the concern is,” said the former Minister of State.
He added: “If you take over the administration of a country, you take over the assets and the liabilities. There is a handing over process. There was a transition process. There was a transition team [and] if you have any question about State property, it is better to ask all the question so they tell you everything.
“I don’t know whether they have reason…enough reason to say that well, we’ve asked the transition team of the government side…the outgoing government side and they have told us about ABC properties and we can’t find them so we are looking for them. In that sense there will be logic and there will be direction and reason for what they are doing.
“But if there is no such a thing at all and they have just a thing that somebody may have stolen property so let’s imagine that they are kept outside our reach so let’s take a task force and search for them. It is going to be….it is going to look like a situation where they are going to harass individuals as if you took power not by democratic means but some other means and you are exerting your authority.”
Gov’t sets up Task Force to retrieve state assets
Meanwhile the government had set up a special task force to track and retrieve all State assets with certain individuals including ex government officials who are yet to return those assets.
The task force includes members from the Ghana Police Service, Bureau of National Investigations, the Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division), the Driver Vehicle Lisensing Authority and Office of the President.
A statement signed by the Chief of Staff Frema Osei-Opare stated that various State assets including landed properties and vehicles are yet to be handed over to government by individuals contrary to law.
The statement added that “persons with state properties unlawfully in their possession should endeavor to contact the task force and make arrangements to surrender same with immediate effect.”