Just when the dust on the state vehicle controversy appears to be settling, the Assets Retrieval Task Force has seized a number of vehicles believed to belong to the state.

The vehicles were parked on a private property at Nsawam in the Eastern Region.

An officer with the Asset Retrieval Taskforce, Akwasi Abebrese said the team moved to the private property, Wednesday upon a tip off.

Together with journalists, the team besieged the private property and found a number of government vehicles, some of them SPD registered.

The vehicles retrieved include two Toyota Land Cruisers, a BMW salon car and a Mitsubishi Pajero among others.

But the total number of government vehicles found on the private property is in dispute. Even though the officer of the Assets Retrieval task force puts the total number of vehicles at 60, the owner of the property on which the vehicles were parked, William Baah, has disputed the figure.

He did not, however, deny that some of the vehicles belonged to the state, except to say that those vehicles were kept there on the authority of the courts.

According to Baah, who claims to be an auctioneer, the vehicles were confiscated by the courts and were kept in his custody.

He would neither say which court confiscated the vehicles nor from which ministry or state department they were confiscated from.

By procedure, it is possible for a court to confiscate a vehicle or other properties belonging to the state for possible auction.

The vehicles could be kept in the custody of the petitioner but must be on the authority of the court.

It cannot be said, however, that these vehicles were indeed confiscated by the court. The auctioneer has yet to produce any evidence detailing the circumstances and grounding his claims that the vehicles were confiscated on court orders.

Akwasi Abebrese said the vehicles will be seized and the auctioneer will be arrested to assist in further investigations.

The seizure of the vehicles will reignite the controversy about missing state cars which reared its ugly head in the early days of the Nana Akufo-Addo administration.

Like the previous governments before it, the new administration had to contend with outgoing ministers and government appointees unwilling to return the vehicles they used whilst in office.

Some of them were reported to have bought the vehicles at giveaway prices.

Despite a directive by the President John Mahama that no government appointee should buy any state vehicle after leaving office.

But more than 200 vehicles were purchased by appointees of the Mahama government when they left office in January 2017.

source: myjoyonline

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