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General News of Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

Ruby cocaine house confiscation in limbo

The Court of Appeal yesterday stopped the state, in the interim, from going ahead to confiscate a building belonging to convicted drug baroness, Ruby Adu Gyamfi aka Nayele Ametefe.

The three-member panel presided over by Justice Saeed Kwaku Gyan, gave the order because there is a pending appeal filed by Nayele’s mother – Akua Adubofuor – against the Accra Financial and Economic Crimes Court’s decision to confiscate the storey building located at East Legon, Accra.

Nayele’s mother, after filing the appeal, had filed for a stay of execution pending the final determination of the appeal against the Financial and Tax Court’s ruling, and the appellate court granted the plea yesterday.

On July 25, the Financial and Tax Court, presided over by Justice Georgina Mensah Datsa, ordered the confiscation of the East Legon storey building of the convicted drug baroness, who is currently serving a jail term in the United Kingdom.

The building was one of two properties identified by the state as acquisitions from the proceeds of crime (narcotic trade). The other building is located in her hometown, Pease, near Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.

It may be recalled that in the heat of the investigations, the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) confiscated all items in the Night Angels Enterprise, located along the Dzorwulu highway in Accra – which they said was operated by Nayele – and six Fidelity Bank accounts, including one containing GH¢3.22p belonging to the convict.

EOCO was also demanding that the lawyer representing Nayele’s mother serve her daughter in prison with the processes she had filed claiming ownership of two houses, but the lawyer insisted that there was no need to serve her daughter (Nayele) with the processes since the houses belong to her (mother).

In the original judgement, Justice Mensah-Datsa said the state had been able to prove that the East Legon property indeed belongs to Nayele Ametefe and must be confiscated by the state.

She had said however, that the court could not order the confiscation of a second building located at Pease because the state failed to prove that the jailed cocaine peddler owns that property.

The property, estimated at about 1.8 million dollars, was expected to be sold and the proceed distributed as follows: 50% to NACOB, 20% to EOCO, 10% into the consolidated fund and 20% to the Judicial Service of Ghana.

However, Nayele’s mother filed at the Court of Appeal against the high court’s decision to confiscate the property and the order preventing the state from going into an immediate execution was given.

Appearing before the Court of Appeal panel which included Justices Amadu Tanko and Barbara Ackah-Ayensu yesterday, Peter Dadzie, who is representing Nayele’s mother, said if the court failed to grant the stay of execution, it was going to affect the outcome of the substantive appeal.

He said that the property belongs to Nayele’s mother and made the convict to occupy it.

When Justice Tanko asked counsel to convince the court further why the application should be granted, he said when the state enforces the trial court’s order and the property falls into the hands of a third party, it will be difficult for the appellant to get back the property, if the appeal succeeds.

The Attorney General’s Department, which has been sued alongside the NACOB, insisted that the evidence adduced before the trial court showed that the property belongs to Nayele and that there was nothing new the appellant was adding to the already-decided matter in the form of an appeal.

However, after granting the stay of execution, the court cautioned Nayele’s mother not to tamper with all documents covering the confiscated property.

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