By Halifax Ansah-Addo
Daily Guide of Monday November 29, 2010.
The Daily Guide newspaper has discovered that the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) is allegedly releasing confiscated motorbikes and cars to some constituency chairmen of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for distribution to selected party members and foot-soldiers.
While one of such NDC chairmen is in trouble for having received six of such motorbikes but keep them as hispersonal property, Daily Guide has seen a couple of documents in which government has allegedly written to the CEPS Commissioner that some more motorbikes should be released for NDC party work.
The NDC Chairman for Dome Kwabenya constituency, Alhaji Abdul Basit Mohammed, who was recently given six of such motorbikes purposely for party work, is currently being chased by his party members after reports went round that he had sold all six bikes and pocketed the money.
When Daily Guide contacted Alhaji Basit Mohammed, he confessed that it was the Municipal Chief Executive of the Ga East Municipal Assembly, John Quao Sackey, who gave him a letter to be delivered to the CEPS Commissioner so six motorbikes would be released to him for party work.
Alhaji Basit explained however that he did not give the bikes to the party because he had imported some six motorbikes but they got sized by CEPS officials so the Municipal Chief Executive forged the said letter for him so he could use it to get back his seized bikes.
The chairman said it was the same imported bikes that were confiscated that were eventually released to him so there was no sense in releasing them to the party. He promised to provide some documents to show that indeed he had imported some six motorbikes but they got confiscated by CEPS officials.
The NDC chairman conceded that though the wording of the letter said the bikes were to be used for party work, that information as only put there by John Quao Sackey to help him clear his seized bikes.
The letter that was addressed to the CEPS Commissioner was written on the official letterhead to the Ga East Municipal Assembly and signed by its Chief Executive on January 12, 2010.
It reads: “Request for the allocation of motorbikes. The Dome Kwabenya Constituency is a new constituency and therefore lacks facilities to enable it achieve growth and developmental programmes successfully. “Our main hindrance is transportation. We shall be grateful if you can allocate us with six (6) of the confiscated motorbikes for use in the constituency. “Alhaji Abdul Basit Mohammed is the Chairman of eh constituency and responsible for social affairs in the Constituency who will use the bikes for the benefit of the constituency.
“We have also discussed this with the Chairman of the Council of State Professor Kofi Awoonor. We count on your co-operation.”
Though Alhaji Basit Mohammed is insisting the letter was only forged to help him clear his personal bikes, Daily Guide’s checks for CEPS show that such an arrangement would have been criminal.
“When you import motorbikes, there is an amount of money you pay on it and it is higher than what you pay when seized bikes are being sold to you on allocation. What you are saying means that the person used the forged letter to invade tax on his seized bikes and that is equally criminal on his part just as whoever forged the letter for him,” CEPS sources explained.
Further checks from the Council of State revealed that Prof. Kofi Awoonor was not even aware his name was being used to clear confiscated motorbikes for selected chairmen of the NDC.