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Tuesday, 12 July 2022 10:52

Estate Of Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie Alias Sir John Featured

On 30 May 2022 the Special Prosecutor directed the freezing of the Estate of Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie alias Sir John (deceased), the former Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission. On 9 June 2022 the Special Prosecutor applied to the High Court for a confirmation of the freezing order. On 12 July 2022 the High Court, presided over by Her Ladyship Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, inexplicably dismissed the application. 

The judge, with respect, totally misapprehended the application for confirmation of the freezing order and misdirected herself by characterizing the application as that of a confiscation order, which regimes are 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 the dissipation of the property in question. While a confiscation order is designed to permanently deprive the owner of the property. The Special Prosecutor asked for the freezing order to be confirmed to facilitate the investigation into the circumstances of the purported acquisition by the deceased of protected lands in the Achimota Forest enclave and the Sakumono Ramsar site. The Special Prosecutor did not apply for confiscation of the estate of the deceased.

On this reckoning, the Special Prosecutor has directed the filing of an appeal against the ruling of Her Ladyship Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe. The net effect 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 propriety or otherwise of the acquisition of the 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. The investigations into the estate of Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie alias Sir John will still proceed.

 

[SGDI

KISSI AGYEBENG

SPECIAL PROSECUTOR

12 July 2022

Last modified on Sunday, 17 July 2022 13:06

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