Gov’t seizes vehicles of late anti-corruption campaigner

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Barely two weeks after the burial of one of Ghana’s foremost anti-corruption campaigners, Daniel Batidam, his family members are yet to meet and take stock of his assets and liabilities.

But before they do that, there is already a fierce challenge from the Presidency, which the family, say has left them traumatized.

Last Wednesday night, six-armed policemen and two civilians raided the late Batidam’s house to seize cars, a Toyota Camry and a Mitsubishi Pajero, which they claimed belonged to the state.

They were led by one Kwabena Ahinkra, who said he was working under instructions from Captain Koda, the Chief Security at the Presidency.

He was in a Toyota Prado vehicle registered GT 9801-16. He said he was instructed to drive the car to the Jubilee House, but rather had a Land Rover towing truck towed to the Adenta Police Station.

The one who had the keys to the room in which the keys of vehicles were, was not present at the time of Kwabena Ahinkra’s visit; but they would not wait until she comes.

The family member who spoke to theghanareport.com, said the handbrake of the Camry was not on, so they forcefully towed the Toyota Camry to the Adenta Police Station.

They also made one of the family members of the late Daniel Batidam write a statement. The bereaved family, was on Friday, instructed to send the Pajero to the Adenta Police Station, where the seized Camry was parked.

The family was left traumatised by the action of the state, but they complied and drove the vehicle with it papers to the Police Station for verification.

Last Friday, the family took all the documents on the cars together. The Camry was later released to the family after it was proven with documents that the late Batidam had duly paid for it and it allocated to him by the state as his end of service benefit.

The Jubilee House operatives, claim they will do further checks on the Pajero and have asked the family to give them by the close of today to confirm its true ownership.

Interestingly, Kwabena Ahinkra, demanded the cost of towing the Camry from Mr. Batidam’s residence be paid by the family, but was told that would not happen and asked to rather direct his demand to those who sent him on the operation.

“We are highly traumatised that barely two weeks after his burial, our Daniel is being accused of stealing state property. Someone is out to give him a bad name in his death. Why now and not when he was alive?” a family spokesperson told theghanareport.com

According to the family, neither of the vehicles belongs to the state. The late Batidam, served as a Presidential Advisor on Corruption and Governance under the John Mahama administration.

When they were leaving office, they were given the option to buy the official saloon cars they were using.

Documents on the Toyota Camry, indicate that the car was valued at the STC, and the late Batidam, paid for it before the ownership was transferred to his name. The used Toyota Camry was valued at 25,000 cedis and he paid. In addition, he paid a duty of 12,000 cedis before the ownership of the vehicle was transferred to him.

Batidam bought the Mitsubishi Pajero from Malin Investment Company Limited in September 2019, nearly three years after leaving office. There are documents showing when the company imported the vehicle, the duties they paid and the transactions between the company and the late anti-corruption fighter.

Even though, the family showed documents of the vehicles to the police and other officials who stormed the house, after authenticating the Chassis and engine numbers of the vehicles and inspected the documents, they still insisted on seizing the vehicles.

Daniel Batidam, a former Executive Director at the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), died on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, at Mampong in the Eastern Region from a cancer-related illness. He was buried in Navrongo on February 8.

Mr Batidam, also served as representative for Ghana on the AU Advisory Board on Corruption, a positioned he resigned from subsequently, citing deep-seated corruption, lack of accountability among others at the secretariat at the AU Commission.

He resigned in June 2018.

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