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NDC MP granted bail for alleged $2.4m land fraud

MP for Twifo Atti Morkwa, David Vondee, who was slapped with defrauding a private company of 20 acres of land worth $2.4 million, has been granted bail by an Accra High Court.

This was after the opposition NDC legislator, David Vondee, on Tuesday, May 25, said he had not committed the crime for which he was dragged to court.

He was responding to two counts of defrauding by false pretence contrary to Section 131 (1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, (Act 29) and money laundering contrary to Section 1(2) (c) of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, Act 2020 (Act 1044).

The court admitted the MP to bail in the sum of GH¢2 million, with two sureties, both to be justified.

Also, state prosecution has been ordered to file disclosures and witness statements before the next adjourned date, on June 30, 2021.

Bail Application

Counsel for the accused person, Godwin Kudzo Tamaklo, pleaded with the court to grant the legislator bail pending the hearing of the substantive matter.

He told the court that aside from the accused person being an MP, he has cooperated very well with the police and the case investigator in charge of the case.

“For all intent and purposes, we have conducted ourselves in a manner that we will not jump bail,” Mr Tamaklo told the court.

Facts

According to the facts read by Vivian Osei Tutu, a Senior State Attorney, the complainant called Kojo Ansah Mensah “is the Director of Africa REI Ghana Limited, while the accused David Vondee is the Chief Executive Officer and owner of Klenam Construction Limited.”

In August 2015, the complainant, on behalf of his company, is said to have entered into a purchase agreement with Klenam Construction Ltd, represented by the accused, who is the CEO and owner of the company for 20 acres of land situated at Frafraha in the Adentan Municipality at the cost of $2, 400,000 00.

“This was after the accused who represented Klenam Construction Ltd at all material times made representations to officials of Africa REI Ghana Ltd that his company owned the 20 acres of land, free and clear of any encumbrances and that the company had title to sell the land to Africa REI Ghana Ltd. Based on these representations, African REI Ltd paid a total amount of $2,400,000 00 to the accused between August 2015 and July 2016,” as contained in the facts.

Ms Osei Tutut told the court that investigations revealed that “these representations were false and that Klenam Construction Ltd had no title to the said land.

Investigation revealed that on May 28, 2015, the accused, through his company Klenam Construction Ltd, sought to purchase about 80 acres of land from his grantors at a total cost of GH¢9,600,000 00.

“The terms of the agreement required the accused to make an initial payment of GH¢1,600,000 00 to the grantors and to subsequently pay an amount of GH¢1,000,000 00 every three months till the agreed purchase price was fully paid.

“Other terms of the agreement provided that the accused’s company shall be entitled to only a portion of land commensurate to the amount of money they had paid at the time should the company fail to pay the full purchase price at the agreed period,” the Senior State Attorney narrated.

She said knowing that his company had not completed their financial obligations toward their grantors and, therefore, had no title to any portion of the land, the accused proceeded to prepare an indenture covering about 20 acres of the land in favour of the complainant’s company.

The accused is also said to have presented a land title certificate number GA 44978 to Africa REI Ghana Ltd officials as evidence of his company’s ownership of the said land, even though there had been no valid registration of the land.

The prosecution said sometime in 2016, after the complainants had lodged a complaint of fraud against the accused to the police, the accused attempted to settle the matter amicably by granting the complainant 10 acres of land as payment of the money taken from the complainant’s company.

However, an official search at the Land’s Commission revealed the 10 acres of land did not belong to the accused or his company.

In his investigation caution statement, the accused admitted collecting $2.4 million from the complainant’s company in exchange for 20 acres of land.

 

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