General News of Saturday, 9 June 2012
Source: The Herald
*…As Hackman Owusu-Agyeman & Others Pop Up In ¢1.67 Billion State Land Sale To NDK Financial Services*
The Chairman of the Greater Accra Lands Commission has vehemently denied claims made against him by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) that he has dubiously allocated himself one of the disputed public lands at Cantonments in Accra.
In an exclusive interview over the weekend, Mr. Oko Nikoi Dzani revealed that the land in question was rather purchased by him from the Kufuor government in December 2008, after going through a successful bid which started in 2006, during the tenure of Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, then Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing.
According to him, a whoping One Hundred and Sixty-seven Ghana cedis (GH¢167,000.00 or ¢1.67 billion old cedi) was paid by his NDK Financial Service for the said plot, christened Plot No 48A, located at the Cantonment Residential Area in Accra under the “Redevelopment Scheme” initiated by the Kufuor regime to replace the “In Filling Exercise ” by the Rawlings Regime.
Mr. Dzanie challenged his accusers, including Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Nana Akomea and Mike Ocquaye Jr. (Baby Ajasco) to drag him before any investigative body, for instance the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), to probe whether or not any wrongful or immoral acts were committed in the transaction.
He said the purchase was above board, and insisted that unlike the transaction involving the NPP National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, NDK Financial Services was not an occupant of the land in question.
The interaction with Mr. Dzani revealed that the Kufuor administration operated an Animal Farm system with respect to the sale of the pricy state lands. The regime had one law for the then president and his cronies, party executives, pro-NPP judges, including the Chief Justice Georgina Wood, ex-ministers of states and pro-NPP journalists.
They were invited by telephone and offered very ridiculous prices for the juicy state lands, while in the case of NDK Financial Services transactions and some others, bid documents were sold out to the prospective buyers.
These ridiculous prices ranged from GH¢5,000, GH¢6,000, and GH¢7,000 and in some instances for GH¢1,000, especially in the case of a prime Kumasi suburb called Denyame.
Mr. Oko Nii Dzani produced documents, receipts and the numbers of the cheques submitted to the Lands Commission to show when the transaction begun and when it ended.
He revealed, he had since forwarded all documentation on the transaction to his lawyers to determine the cause of action, especially against those maligning him and imputing ill motive into the acquisition.
The ex-National Hockey Association Chairman showed The Herald many documents, including one signed by Alhaji Hamidu Ibrahim Baryeh, the ex-Executive Secretary, saying “the Lands Commission has decided to offer you (NDK) plot No. 48A, Cantonments Residential Area at your bid price of Five Hundred and Twenty Thousand (GH) Cedis (GH¢520,000.00) per acre for redevelopment.”
Also in the lists of documents, is one signed on November 18, 2008, by a certain Alhaji A. Dawuni on behalf of Alhaji Boniface Abubakar-Saddique, then Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing.
Alhaji Dawuni’s letter of October 6, 2008, said “I am directed by the Hon. Minister to convey his approval for the attached list of bidders adjudged by the Technical Committee at the…bidding and interview process. The Lands Commission is accordingly authorized to issue offer letters to the successful bidders with the agreed terms of their bids”.
Mr. Dzani told The Herald that prior to receiving the letters from the Lands Commission and the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, NDK Financial Services had purchased at a cost of ¢5 million (old cedis)bid documents from Lands Commission on December 27, 2006, after hearing about the sale of the plots.
In furtherance of the transaction, he told The Herald that officials of the NDK Financial Services, which had been in operation since 1993, were made to appear before a couple of committees set up at both Lands Commission and the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing for interviews regarding the plots.
Mr. Dzani also showed to The Herald a receipt dated December 10, 2008, issued by the Lands Commission Secretariat in respect of Plot No. 48A Cantonments Residential Area, as part of the Re-Development Scheme, and said it was issued to NDK Financial Service upon the payment of the said amount with six cheques from Merchant Bank Ghana Limited.
He disclosed that upon assumption of the Mills Administration in 2009, some Ga-Dangbe Youths took over the plots, this was after the government had asked for a freeze on the sales, purchases and development to enable investigations into the transaction, regarding the state lands.
With the lands taken over by the Ga-Dangbe Youth, NDK Financial Service through its Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Kyeremeh, wrote and applied to the Lands Commission for a replacement of Plot No. 48A “to a new plot at Ridge …to enable us develop same to provide cover to our bankers to enable us expand our operations”.
He questioned whether Jake, a former Minister in the Kufuor regime, would allow any of his workers at his advertising firm, Lintas, to appropriate a bungalow he was given upon his employment, thus denying future employees its use.
Meanwhile, there are claims that Zenith Bank and Sahel Sahara Bank owned by the Libyans and the Merchant Bank are among others who were also sold plots of land that have come under controversy.