General News of Thu, 31 Oct 201343
'Acquisition of state bungalow does not favour Jake on moral grounds'
Based on moral grounds, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye has advised the national Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to abandon the idea of repossessing the controversial No.2 South Mungo Street state bungalow.
He told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story on Thursday that public "sentiment and reactions do not favour" Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey to live in the bungalow, which became a legal tussle.
“The truth of the matter is that it is not right for government officials to sell to themselves, state properties, when they are in office,” he asserted.
He asked, rhetorically, whether it would be right for the sitting President, John Dramani Mahama, to purchase the seat of government – the Flagstaff House - for his personal use after his term in office.
“What will happen, when for example, tomorrow the ministers, who are occupying the ministries today decide they are buying the ministries ?... can the president get up one day to say I am buying the Flagstaff House,” he questioned
The bungalow in question located at on No.2 South Mungo Street, Ridge, Accra - a prime area of the capital – was bought by Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey while serving in government under the erstwhile Kufuor administration.
Two members of the NDC, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Omane Boamah, later took the matter to the Supreme Court, challenging the propriety of the sale of the bungalow. They accused Jake of dabbling in conflict of interest and abuse of office.
The court ruled in favour of Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey. A high court subsequently ordered the release of the bungalow's keys to Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.
The family of Nii Lantey Vanderpuye today, 31st October 2013, packed out of the bungalow.
According to Mr. Vanderpuye, government has given him a new bungalow at Cantonments in Accra.
He, however, observed: “The only way the country will develop is when we as a people know what is right and do what is right - in the interest of the country.”
In the purchase of the bungalow, he claimed, “all the laws that pertain to good practice, best practices in the sale of properties, and in the sale of items were not respected. The thing was done under darkness, there was no transparency”.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Sampson Ahi has told Joy FM’s Top Story that inventory has been taken of government’s assets there and would start moving them out of the residence, hopefully, tomorrow.
He confirmed that his ministry has taken delivery of the keys to the bungalow and would be handed over to Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey soon.
He also disclosed that the government has no intention to pursue other properties purchased by government officials under the Kufuor administration.
Meanwhile, government has until the end of November to hand the keys over to Mr. Obestsebi-Lamptey.