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25.02.2009 Politics

Former DVLA boss chides security personnel over car seizures

By myjoyonline

Joe Osei Owusu ex-boss of the Driver's and Vehicles Licensing Authority (DVLA) has waded into the car seizure controversy, accusing the security agencies of doing a shoddy job.

Top officials of the former NPP administration as well as the Managing Director of Barclays Bank have had their private cars impounded by BNI operatives on suspicion the cars belonged to the state.

But further checks proved the vehicles were their personal properties and consequently returned.

Presidential spokesperson Mahama Ayariga has apologised profusely for the seizures but maintained the action was to save the state substantial number of vehicles which he alleged were being sold out at ridiculous prices to ex-government appointees.

Whilst agreeing with the principle of retrieving state vehicles, Joe Osei Owusu told Joy News the approach adopted left much to be desired and could have been avoided.

He said the starting point in retrieving these vehicles was to have checked the registration number of the vehicles and subsequently verify from the DVLA whether the car has been sold to the user or not before taking the necessary action.

“Do you verify your facts before you accost me or you seize before you verify the facts?” he quizzed.

Joe Osei Owusu who is now the MP for Bekwai also dismissed calls for the reversion of GV as the number plates for state vehicles as way to prevent the unnecessary controversy.

He argued that state vehicles are licensed to public officials to be used both for official and private activities.

“If that vehicle is licensed GV and I travel with it on a Sunday or in my leave period to visit my mother at Bekwai, people outside might misinterpret that to mean that I am misusing an official vehicle. To avoid such situations, vehicles assigned to public officials for their private and official use, are normally not licensed GV,” he explained.

Listen to excerpts of the interview with Joe Osei Owusu in the attached audio.

Story by Nathan Gadugah