Ghana: Special Prosecutor Freezes Assets of Sir John

Late CEO of Forestry Commission, Johnson Kwadwo Afriyie

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has frozen the assets of the former Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John.

Sources within the OSP who have confirmed the freezing of assets to The Fourth Estate say it is one of the measures adopted as part of ongoing investigations into suspected corruption-related offences into the assets acquired by the late Forestry Commission CEO.

The OSP began investigations following a petition by Corruption Watch to the OSP to investigate the acquisition of state lands.

Corruption Watch petitioned the OSP after The Fourth Estate published the will of Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie.

The OSP said last week that it had begun “full investigations into suspected corruption and corruption-related offences in respect of alleged improper acquisition of state lands at the Achimota Forest enclave and Ramsar catchment in Accra by the former CEO of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie alias Sir John (now deceased) and other two persons.”

The statement signed by Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, asked the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to cooperate in the investigations.

The wealth Mr. Afriyie bequeathed to his family and loved ones has shocked many Ghanaians since The Fourth Estate exclusively revealed the contents of his will. Of particular interest have been the large parcels of land he owned at the Achimota Forest and the Ramsar site, a protected area he had warned people against acquiring land while he was in office.

Corruption Watch petitioned the Special Prosecutor “to investigate the alleged acquisition of several acres of alleged state lands situated in the Achimota Forest and Ramsar sites in Sakumono by three artificial persons namely Jakaypros Limited, Fasoh Limited, DML Limited, and two natural persons namely Charles Owusu, an officer of the Forestry Commission and Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, now deceased, who served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission from March 2017 until July 2020.”

Per the laws regulating asset declaration in Ghana—Article 286 of the 1992 Constitution and Public Office Holders (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act—Mr Afriyie should have declared his assets upon assumption of office in 2017.

The Fourth Estate’s checks from the Auditor-General’s department, however, revealed he did not.

Background

A few days after the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John A. Jinapor, announced the declassification of parts of the Achimota Forest as a forest reserve, The Fourth Estate revealed that Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie had already acquired some portions of the Achimota Forest lands through Fasoh Limited, DML limited and jointly with some named individuals. The details were contained in his will.

Not long after The Fourth Estate‘s publication of contents of the will, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, in a statement on May 24, 2022, said its checks at the Lands Commission “show no record of ownership of lands, at the Achimota Forest or the Sakumono Ramsar Site, by the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie.”

That did not stop some civil society groups from demanding further action. Besides the petition by Corruption Watch to the Special Prosecutor, 14 other civil society organisations have also filed a petition to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the acquisition of state lands by the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie.

Assets of Sir John

In Sir John’s will, The Fourth Estate listed at least 75 individual assets he left for his family and loved ones.

HOUSES

  1. House on plot number GA54480 located in Ogbojo, East Legon, and acquired on February 12, 2018
  2. House on plot number GA 55329 located at Oyarifa No. 2, acquired on May 11, 2018
  3. House plot number GA 55475 located at Oyarifa No.1, acquired on September 27, 2017
  4. House on plot number GA 5881 located at Adjiringanor, Accra, (white House), acquired on August 7, 2019.
  5. A 6-bedroom house located at Patangbe, Ogbojo, near East Legon.
  6. A  4-bedroom house located in Mempeheusem, East Legon
  7. A 3-bedroom house on plot number TDA 4140 located in Mempehuesem, East Legon
  8. Another 3-bedroom house on plot number TDA 4140 located in Mempehuesem, East Legon
  9. A 4-bedroom house on plot number GA56838 located in East Legon and acquired on October 25, 2018
  10. A 5-bedroom house located in Sakora Wonoo
  11. A 4-storey building located in East Legon, with 10 apartments, each apartment consisting of 3-bedrooms; and five apartments, each consisting of two bedrooms.

LANDS

  1. Two plots of land located in Ahenema Kokoben in the Ashanti Region
  2. Two plots of land with registration number GA56921 located in Oyarifa, which were acquired on November 6, 2018.
  3. A 5.541-acre land located in Achimota Forest held in the name of Jakaypros Limited
  4. A 0.987-acre land located in Achimota Forest held in the name of Fasoh Limited
  5. Unspecified piece of land located in the Achimota Forest jointly owned with Charles Owusu
  6. An unspecified piece of land held in the name of DML located in the Achimota forest
  7. A 5.07-acre land at the Ramsar site, Sakumono
  8. Five plots of land located at Millenium city, Kasoa
  9. One plot of land with certificate number GA60802, located at Mempeheusem, East Legon, acquired on December 13, 2019.
  10. Two plots of land approximately of 0.40acres located at No.7 ARS Lane, Ogbojo, near East legon
  11. One plot of land near the Chain Homes Estate at East Airport Hills.
  12. A piece of land numbered plot 139 located within the Adentaman District (aka Aviation land).

PRIVATE VEHICLES

  1. Lexus LX570
  2. Ford Fusion
  3. Lexus V6
  4. Nissan Titan Pick Up V8
  5. Mercedes Benz E68 Sport AMG
  6. Honda Pilot V6
  7. Honda Accord Sport
  8. Toyota Landcruiser V8
  9. Ford 150
  10. Honda Accord 2.0 Touring
  11. Toyota Rav 4, 2019 model
  12. Chevrolet Cruze
  13. Lexus Saloon Car, 2019 model

GUNS

37. Five pump-action guns

42. Clothing

BANK ACCOUNTS

43. National Investment Bank, account no. 1802092960501

  1. CBG, account no. 0302239130003
  2. GT Bank- in the name of Ruth Korkor Odonkor
  3. GT Bank-in the name of Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie
  4. Fidelity Bank, account no. 1060032907210
  5. ADB, in the name of Jakaypros Limited
  6. United States Bank, Wells Fargo, in the name of Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie
  7. Canadian Bank Account, Royal Bank, in the name of Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie

INVESTMENTS

  1. ADB: Two million cedis (2,000,000.00), expected to mature in April 2020.
  2. Two hundred and fifty thousand Ghana cedis (GHc 250,000) with NTHC which stood at GHc 303,720.22 as at July 31, 2019.
  3. Joint gold production investment with Francis Owusu

Joint ownership in gold production investment with:

  1. ROTL,
  2. FASOH
  3. MBL

HOSPITAL

  1. Afriyie Memorial Hospital, located at Sakora Wonoo

OTHER BUSINESSES

  1. A fuel Station located at Kentinkrono in the Ashanti region
  2. Fuel tanker vehicles (10 in number)
  3. One teak plantation located at Nkawie in the Ashanti Region
  4. Rubber plantation located in the Eastern Region

72 Stalls located at the new Kejetia market, Kumasi (3 in number)

  1. Farms at Ejura in the Ashanti Region.

Sir John had given the following assets to Agnes Boakye (aka Akosua Darkoah) while he was alive.

They are:

  1. A house at East Legon Hills
  2. A house in Kumasi, Ashanti region
  3. Vehicles (numbering two 2)
  4. A store at Kejetia Market

Special Prosecutor freezes assets of Sir John (thefourthestategh.com)