General News of Thursday, 13 December 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Segbefia Dodges Court

An Accra Fast Track High Court presided over by Justice K.A. Ofori Atta has issued an order for substituted service in the case in which a businessman is suing Deputy Chief of Staff Alex Segbefia and four others for confiscating his Mercedes Benz vehicle worth €42,318.

The order for a substituted service was issued following the court bailiffs’ inability to personally find the Deputy Chief of Staff, who Patrick Sam, a Ghanaian resident in the United Kingdom, has accused of unlawfully confiscating and allocating his (Sam’s) shipped vehicle.

Apart from Mr. Segbefia, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Emmanuel Vanderpuije, believed to have been allocated the vehicle, who also had substituted service, KAMP Shipping Co. Limited, the shipping agents, as well as Frank Bo Amissah of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), have been cited in the suit.

The plaintiff wants a declaration of title to the Mercedes Benz 711D bus with chassis number WDB6693632No39359 and an order directed at the defendants for the recovery of his vehicle.

He said in the alternative, the court should order the defendants to pay the actual market value of the bus as at 2009- €42,318.0- with interest.

He also wants reliefs in the form of a declaration directed specifically at Mr. Segbefia to provide an alternative vehicle as promised and special damages directed at GRA, Mr. Vanderpuije and KAMP Shipping Co. Limited.

Mr. Sam also wants damages for loss of personal earnings from business from the date of arrival in Ghana to the date of final judgement.

In his statement of claim, the plaintiff said when his vehicle arrived in Ghana, he instructed a clearing agent to clear it for him but it was unlawfully forfeited to the state and he had to follow it up to Ghana to find the reasons for the forfeiture.

Plaintiff said he petitioned GRA for release and reallocation of the vehicle, which was duly granted in a letter dated June 8, 2009 and added that at all material time, the vehicle was in the custody of the authority.

He said in the process of securing his vehicle, he was informed by GRA officers that the vehicle had already been cleared by certain officials from the castle.

He said he later investigated and found out that Mr. Vanderpuije had been allocated the vehicle and the defendant paid a paltry GH¢3,940, adding that the action “constitutes a gross abuse of public authority and power.

“Plaintiff states that the said unlawful sale was facilitated by the 3rd defendant (KAMP Shipping) through its officers and the sale was done within the same period within which the vehicle was re-allocated to the plaintiff.”

The plaintiff claimed that he lodged a complaint at Mr. Segbefia’s office which promised to replace the vehicle for him and was subsequently given an allocation chip signed by Mr. Bo Amissah, but they both failed to deliver on the promise.

He said that he left the UK for Ghana to pursue his vehicle and had as a result lost huge sums of income, adding that the defendants were indebted to him “jointly and severally for the reliefs endorsed herein.”