The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), says it is still in the process of tracking more assets and accounts owned by Council of State Member and founder of defunct Ideal Finance, Nii Kotei Dzani.
EOCO has already frozen some 31 accounts and some landed property of Nii Kotei Dzani, as part of efforts to among other things retrieve funds from him to settle customers whose funds are locked up with the defunct company.
EOCO, upon a referral from the Receiver for Ideal Finance, invited Nii Kotei Dzani for questioning on three allegations; including GHc 23 million paid to a client, 200 acres of land he allegedly stole from Ideal Finance, and unlawful use of Ideal Finance’s funds to build ‘Camp Tsaetse’, a plush resort in Ada.
Ideal Finance is among the 23 savings and loans and finance houses that lost their licenses after they were declared insolvent by the Bank of Ghana as part of a massive financial sector clean-up.
According to the Executive Director of EOCO, COP retired Frank Adu-Poku, who spoke to Citi News’ Umaru Sanda Amadu; the assets confiscated son far include vehicles and about 31 bank accounts belonging to him and the Ideal Group.
He however says they will be pursing more assets and accounts they may not be aware of.
“We went to court and then had judgment for the accounts to be frozen. Right now, we’re trying to get information about other accounts that might not be known to us or which have not come to our notice.”
“We’ve also gotten judgment to preserve most of his assets. Vehicles and landed properties of the applicant at Ada and Nii Sai Street, East Legon have also been frozen and confirmed by the court. The office is continuing efforts to track and trace other assets in the form of vehicles, landed properties, and a speed boats belonging to Ideal Finance and Nii Kotei Dzani,” he added.
Nii Kotei’s application
Mr. Dzani had argued that EOCO was practically harassing him in a manner that made ‘nonsense’ of his status as a member of the council of state.
According to him, the receiver in the case of the collapse of defunct Ideal Finance did not afford him the opportunity to respond to issues against him before referring his case to EOCO to be investigated.
He maintained that the referral to EOCO and subsequent invitations made to him to appear before the state agency and his arrest at some point, all amount to harassment and abuse of his constitutionally guaranteed right to presumption of innocence.
He prayed the court that, given his reputation in Ghana, both as a member of the Council of State and a prominent businessman, he is due damages for loss of reputation, injury to feeling and false imprisonment.
But the court presided by Justice Afia Serwah Asare Botwe ruled that EOCO in its dealings with the Council of State member has been fair and at all times acted within the mandate of its establishing law.
According to the court, Mr. Dzani’s position as a Council of State member or as a prominent businessman does not bar him from investigations from properly mandated statutory bodies; thereby dismissing Mr. Dzani’s application for an injunction.
The injunction’s dismissal would pave way for the Economic and Organized Crime Organization (EOCO) to proceed with its investigations of the businessman over allegations of money laundering and tax evasion in the collapse of the finance house.