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High Court refuses to confirm OSP's application to 'freeze' Sir John's assets

The Special Prosecutor is currently investigating suspected corruption and corruption-related offences in respect of an alleged improper and unlawful acquisition of state property at the Achimota Forest enclave and the Ramsar catchment at Sakumono in Accra, as stated in the late Sir John’s will.


To the Special Prosecutor, if he does not freeze those assets, by the time the investigation is concluded, the properties he may be investigating may not be there.


The office indicated that other assets, such as foreign accounts outside the jurisdiction, were also under investigation, and that the OSP was seeking assistance from its foreign counterparts to freeze them.


Hence on May 20, 2022, the Office of the Special Prosecutor directed the freezing of the Estate of the late Sir John.


On June 9, 2022, the Special Prosecutor applied to the High Court for a confirmation of the freezing order.


The court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe on Tuesday morning (July 12, 2022) dismissed the application.


The Special Prosecutor has, however, disagreed with the court, arguing that the judge "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 Special Prosecutor in a press statement has indicated that the investigation into the estate of Sir John will continue and has also directed an appeal against the ruling of the High Court


Petition


The investigation by the OSP follows a petition by Corruption Watch, a coalition of anti-corruption civil society organisations, including the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and the Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA) requesting the Special Prosecutor to investigate the acquisition of state lands in the Achimota Forest and the Ramsar area in Sakumono by three companies and two individuals contained in the Last Will and Testament of Sir John.

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John OSP Office

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