Court of Appeal releases confiscated East Legon House to Nayele Ametepe’s mum
In January 2015, after Nayele Ametepe Alia Ruby Appiah was convicted and sentenced in the United Kingdom for the possession of 12.5 kg of Cocaine, the said house was seized by the Narcotics Control Board.
Madam Akua Adubofour, mother of UK narcotic ex-convict, Nayele Ametepe has been granted ownership of her N0 5, 4th Asoyi Link East Legon House in Accra by the Court of Appeal in Accra.
In January 2015, after Nayele Ametepe Alia Ruby Appiah was convicted and sentenced in the United Kingdom for the possession of 12.5 kg of Cocaine at the Heathrow Airport, the said house was seized by the Narcotics Control Board while another at Pease in the Ashanti Region was identified as liable for confiscation.
The mother, Akua Adubofour, therefore, filed a motion on notice of interest on February 26, 2016, in respect of both houses.
However at the end of the case, the trial High Court in its 2017 ruling, confiscated House No. 5, 4th Asoyi Link, East Legon as belonging to Nayele Ametepe to the state.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, Madam Adubofour went to the Court of Appeal claiming inter alia that;
The court erred on the means by which ownership or title to landed property may be proved in Ghana
The learned judge erred in law in her conclusion that the mere construction of a borehole by the respondent on the Claimant/Appellant’s property for the purpose of temporary occupation created proprietary interest entitling confiscation by the State of the said property in accordance with Narcotic Control Legislation.
The learned trial judge erred when she held that the mere establishment of a link between the respondent and the property in dispute is conclusive proof of absolute ownership as well as tainted property and therefore liable for confiscation.
The learned judge erred in her conclusion that the payment of property rate by an unidentifiable name, namely a “Madam Ruby” created a “link” tainting the said property for the purpose of confiscation by the state of the said property by virtue of Section 15(1) of the Narcotic Control Enforcement and Sanctions Act, PNDCL256 and Section 46 of Economic and Organized Crime Office Act 2010.
It was the respondents' case that per Section 46 of the EOCO Act, 2010(Act 804), the said property was ‘tainted’ because it was realized as a result of the commission of the Narcotic Offence.
Also, they relied on the fact that Nayele Ametepe, daughter of the appellant drilled a borehole in the house for water and also that the AMA property rate bill is in her name and averred conclusively that the property belongs to her.
At the end of the trial, the Court of Appeal made the finding that the said House belonged to the mother after it was established that the respondents' sole reliance on the AMA property bill and drilling of borehole in the said House by Nayele Ametepe were not evidentiary enough but merely speculative relative to the proof of ownership of a landed property like the one in contention.
As a result, the Court of Appeal held that the trial High Court erred when it interpreted the “link” as if it was Nayele Ametepe who acquired the said House.
Finally, the appellate court held that the trial High Court erred in its decision that the house has a link with Nayele Ametepe thus tainted with crime and thus quashed and duly set aside the confiscation order against the property.