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02.02.2009 General News

BNI Invades Jaguar

By Daily Guide

FIVE HEAVILY-BUILT men from the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) were on Friday thrown out of the showroom of Fairllop International Limited, local dealers of Jaguar and Rover cars on the Spintex Road in Accra, for what insiders described as unnecessary intrusion.

The BNI officials, around midday of last Friday, marched into the showroom of Fairllop and without producing a search warrant, started to inspect and record the chassis numbers of vehicles there.

Workers of the company said the BNI officials appeared militant and claimed that the National Security Coordinator, Lt Col Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, had ordered them to record and bring to him the chassis numbers of all the vehicles on display at the showroom because the company is suspected to have connived with officials of the past government to unlawfully take away some vehicles that were used for Ghana's 50th anniversary celebrations.

DAILY GUIDE gathered that the arrogance and roughness with which the chassis numbers were being recorded unnerved workers of the auto company and this led to heated verbal exchanges between them and the BNI officials who were reported to have displayed highly inflated egos.

The Fairllop staff then requested for a search warrant from the intruders and the latter group, not having any such thing, were reminded that they were in the premises of a private company and accordingly advised to leave or risk being thrown out with force.

Eventually, the unnerved workers mustered some courage and threw out the BNI officials from the showroom and warned that they could only return when they get a search warrant from the National Security Coordinator who reportedly sent them there.

Managing Director of the company, Eric Agyeman, in a telephone interview with DAILY GUIDE, said the Friday fracas was about the third time officials from either the National Security or the BNI were invading his showroom and throwing their weights about in the full glare of the company's clients and customers who had gone there to transact business.

“We have presented all documents and figures to the Executive Asset Committee people so I do not know what else they want from Fairllop. I was not even in the office when the incident happened but my workers tell me the guys said they were sent by the National Security Coordinator to record the chassis numbers,” Mr. Agyeman stated.

Fairllop International Limited is among the companies that imported vehicles in the name of the Office of the President during Ghana's 50th anniversary.

The company is said to have imported 2 Rover 75V6, 40 Jaguar X-Type, 40 Rover 75, and one Rover 45.

Meanwhile there are reports that persons driving in a Jaguar X-Type, a Chrysler 300C or any of the above brands of Rover vehicles are being harassed in town and asked to produce the documents of the vehicles.

Many of such persons have reported several instances when their vehicles were trailed by a group of heavily-built men dressed in mufti who later ordered them to park for an inspection of the chassis number and the documentation on the ownership of the vehicles.

Indeed it is on record that private cars belonging to bigwigs of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) are being confiscated by certain elements of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) under bizarre circumstances.

Occupants of such vehicles are usually asked to get down and hand over the car keys and in other situations the residence of the NPP big-shots were besieged and the cars towed away in the full glare of the public.

NPP activists who have suffered such harassment include the Member of Parliament for Okaikoi North, Elizabeth Sackey; Samuel Obiri, Director of Operations for the NPP 2008 Campaign; former Minister of Information, Stephen Asamoah-Boateng; and the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Awutu Senya, Solomon Aban-Quaye.

The vehicle of an aide to former Vice President Aliu Mahama was reportedly seized over the weekend.

In all instances, investigations proved that the cars were private cars and were acquired through genuine and legitimate means.

DAILY GUIDE has gathered that two Chrysler cars, each belonging to the NPP National Organizer, Lord Commey and Alex Markin, the Presiding Member for the Effutu Municipal Assembly, have become targets and are about to be taken on allegations that the vehicles are part of the fleet used for the Ghana at 50 celebrations.

Lord Commey, when contacted, told DAILY GUIDE that he bought his Chrysler 300C on a hire-purchase arrangement from PHC Motors several months before the government dreamt of asking the company to supply the same brand of vehicles for the [email protected] anniversary.

Both Markin and Commey have explained that the two vehicles under discussion are of a higher spec than the ones imported for the anniversary and have also dared any person to touch either of the cars.

By Halifax Ansah-Addo