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22.11.2008 General News

De-confiscation exercise conditional

By myjoyonline

Sources at the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) Implementation Committee say that the de-confiscation of assets is not an unconditional exercise.

They said that was why information on the exercise released at the onset had indicated that those whose assets were confiscated during military regimes would have them back on a "where is, as is" basis.

That is, asset owners will take back their assets in whatever condition they find it.

Moreover, they added that the de-confiscation of assets only involved immovable property and not assets such as vehicles and money.

This came up following enquiries by the Daily Graphic after a victim of torture and imprisonment during the National Redemption Council (NRC) regime, Mr Alex Hamah, had said an amount of ¢56,OOO which had been confiscated from him by the state had not been returned to him. He was reacting to a publication in the Wednesday, November 8, 2008 issue of the Daily Graphic in which Professor Kenneth Attafuah, the Executive Secretary of the erstwhile NRC, had commended the government for the de-confiscation of the assets of some 'victims but asked for the full implementation of the NRC's recommendations.

Mr Hamah said he had been condemned to death on January 12, 1974, and was put in a condemned cell for six months.

His sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment but he was released in 1978.

He said he suffered torture at the hands of military personnel and appeared before the NRC where he recounted his ordeal

After the NRC finished its work, he went to the implementation committee that comprised the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Joe Ghartey; his deputy, Mr Osei Prempeh, and Mr Justice V.C. R. C. A. Crabbe.

Mr Hamah said instructions were given to pay back his money at the current rate but countless visits to the offices of the AG's Department had proved futile, as he had been told that the assent of the President was needed before his money could be paid.

He said others had had their assets returned, while publications to that effect had been widely circulated, but he was facing challenges in getting his money back and believed, therefore, that it was political victimisation".

Mr Hamah re-emphasised the call by Prof Attafuah to the government to fully implement the recommendations of the NRC before leaving office.

Enquiries at the NRC implementation committee, however, showed that Mr Hamah had already been paid GH¢4,OOO as a token amount to compensate him for his torture at the hands of the state during the NRC regime.

Sources there said he was not included in the list of those whose assets were to be de-confiscated.

Source: Daily Graphic

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