NPP MP in ¢2.3 bn scandal- but denies any wrong doing

Posted: August 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

A renowned road and building construction firm, J. Adom Limited, has accused its former Lawyer, Mr. Atta Akyea, of allegedly embezzling an amount of GH¢231,081 belonging to the construction firm.The company, alarmed over this ordeal, according to its Managing Director (MD), Mr. Kwabena Arhin, has decided to take legal action against the Abuakwa South Member of Parliament (MP) to redeem its money. He has subsequently lodged a complaint at the Commercial Crime Unit of the Ghana Police Service Headquarters in Accra.

A source at the Crime Unit has confirmed the story, but failed to give details of the report.
Mr. Atta Akyea, when contacted, denied any wrongdoing, and noted that the action of his former employers was a calculated attempt to tarnish his reputation.

Alleged crime

Mr. Kwabena Arhin, in an interview noted that the company suspected foul play on the part of Mr. Atta Akyea, after he failed to render account of his six years service to the directors of the firm.

Mr. Arhin said judgment debts from all cases won from the law court paid into the client’s account (Mr. Atta Akyea’s account), has till date, not been disclosed to the directors of the company.

That notwithstanding, monies meant for transaction on behalf of the company, according to the MD, had been misappropriated by their former lawyer.

Fed up with this ordeal, the company, in a letter dated February, 25, 2010, terminated its relationship with the Abuakwa South MP.

A portion of the said letter reads, “Further to our telephone conversation, and also the discussion you had with our Messrs Anderson and Company, I wish to formally inform you of the termination of our relationship with you as our lawyer, with immediate effect.

“Kindly hand over the following briefs and any other documents with regards to work done for us, on or before Monday, 1st March 2010 – J. Adom vrs International Structures Group Limited in a suit No. BC 154/2007.

J. Adom  vs Harry Sintim Aboagye in a suit No. BC 145/2007 and Vivendi Construction Company Limited in a suit No. AC 19/2007.”

However, Mr. Atta Akyea, in a response letter dated March 10, 2010, pleaded with the management of the company to exercise some patience, and give him a second chance to deliver.

A portion of the said letter also reads, “It has taken me so long to respond to your letter dated 25th (sic) February 2010, apparently dispensing with my services. This was as a result of the shock I had, after reading your letter, given the hard fact that in my heart you are not my client but my father.

“I will not be worried about legal fees; I am concerned about losing such a great father. Once again, I plead with you to exercise a little patience, and give me a second chance to deliver.”

According to Mr. Arhin, in a 2007 suit between J. Adom and International Structures Group (ISG) Limited, in which judgment went in favour of the former, a total amount of GH¢78,501.4354 was paid into the client account, but, Mr. Atta Akyea failed to disclose receipt of the money to the company.

However, he said, upon enquiries, receipt details and other documents were provided by ISG to prove that the judgment debt had been paid into the client account, as directed by the court.

Mr. Arhin further disclosed that in 2008, Mr. Atta Akyea again, failed to notify the company on receipt of GH¢66,299.85 from Harry B. Sintim-Aboagye, in a case he lost to J. Adom Limited. Again, the Abuakwa South MP was accused of withdrawing US$60,000 from his client account to purchase a US$155,000 house at the airport residential area on behalf of his client (J. Adom Limited) in a fictitious transaction.

Mr. Arhin explained that the company instructed Mr. Atta Akyea to inspect the said property at the airport residential area, before any payment could be made to acquire it.

In the process, he said, Mr. Atta Akyea informed the company that after due diligence on the property, he had made a part payment of US$60,000 without instruction from the company.

However, Mr. Arhin said when the company asked the MP to produce the documents covering the said property, he submitted fake documents to the surprise of the directors of the firm.

According to the MD, the company subsequently asked Mr. Atta Akyea to withdraw the remaining US$90,000 from the client account, and refund the US$60,000, but to their dismay, the two cheques the MP issued were all bounced by the bank.

He said the company used all diplomatic means to make the lawyer refund all monies he had embezzled, but he refused, hence their report to the police to intervene.

Mr. Arhin said after the complaint had been lodged, Mr. Atta Akyea immediately refunded GH¢100,000 to the police, leaving a balance of GH¢131,030, which is yet to be settled.

According to Mr. Arhin, the company was in the process of dragging Mr. Atta Akyea to court for final settlement of the remaining amount (GH¢131,030) with interest.

Atta Akyea denies any wrong doing

However, when contacted at his office, the Abuakwa South MP denied any wrongdoing, and insisted that the action of the directors of the J. Adom Limited was a calculated attempt to tarnish his hard-earned reputation.

“As it stands now, I don’t want to pretend that I don’t know what is going on. The only thing which has happened today, for him, which he should thank his stars, is that I am an NPP MP, but for that, this is nonsense that I would have thrown in the bin, because it is stupid; it is wickedness, and I don’t know where he is going with this matter. Two things, he knows that I am not only a lawyer, but also an NPP MP, but for that; is this a case that any serious-minded person should believe that it should be at the front page of a newspaper? But, I have come to the point that I don’t give a damn. If he believes that he should use my name and disgrace me over this matter, my brother, I am ready for it,” said Mr. Atta Akyea.

According to Mr. Atta Akyea, the beginning of his woes started when the company lost in a case in which it was sued by a firm, Vivendi Construction. In the said case, Lawyer Atta Akyea explained that one of the employees of J. Adom Limited testified against his employers, and there was no way the company was going to win the case.

He said J. Adom appealed against the court ruling, but lost again, and were directed to pay huge sums of money to Vivendi Construction.

Mr. Atta Akyea said after losing the case against Vivendi Construction, the director of the J. Adom Limited, Mr. Adom, denied him payment for his services rendered.

In response to the suit between J. Adom Limited and Harrison Sintim Aboagye, the Abuakwa South MP said he won that case, but Mr. Adom insisted on taking the judgment debt in bulk, contrary to what the defendants had pleaded to pay at the court.

“Not that I never told him that the money had been collected, but because the people in this case went to court and said they want to pay the judgment debt by installments, and the judge agreed, he got angry that a man came and took bulk money from him, why is it that he is paying it by installments?

According to Mr. Akyea, when the money was paid, he told Mr. Adom, Director of J. Adom Limited, that the account should be settled, “so that I will take my money, and he will take his in what we call set off,” but the latter declined.

Mr. Akyea said based on the records of services rendered to the company, should they sit down to settle things, J. Adom would even refund him some money, a situation, he said, Mr. Adom doesn’t want to do.

On the said case of the US$155,000 property at the airport residential area, Lawyer Atta Akyea said he was introduced to one Amissah by Mr. Adom to transact business with.“I don’t know Amissah from Adam. It was Mr. Adom himself who came with Amissah with regard to the purchase of the US$155,000 building at airport residential area,” he said.

According to him, he suspected Amissah to be an imposter, because there was no building at the airport residential area that will sell at US$155,000, and advised Mr. Adom as such.

“I intervened, and said papa, my experience as a lawyer has taught me that there is no house at airport residential area that is US$155,000, so let’s be careful. Then he said it was one of his guys who worked for him in London who introduced Amissah to him, and that I should investigate. I asked the man, where is the vendor? He answered that he was in America. So, I told the man that if the vendor is in America, then you do a statutory declaration in America, and take it to the Ghana Embassy in Washington, and show it to a certain lady I know to confirm the man’s identity, before we do the transaction. Do you know what Mr. Adom said? He said, let’s lock the deal by paying the guy all the money,” Lawyer Akyea said.

Mr. Atta Akyea, having been directed to pay all the money to Amissah, decided to play on his intelligence by continuing to offer part payment of the overall amount of the building, and it was until he had paid US$60,000 that he eventually got to know the truth about the transaction.

“I called Mr. Adom to accompany me to inspect the said property, and when we got there, there was a number on display to call. I said, ah, I know this number. When I called, it was my lawyer friend who picked, and said oh, Atta, you’ve come to see the property? He told me the property had been sold long ago, but some con men have gone to procure documents, and showing around that they have such a property they are selling. So, Mr. Adom was there, and I said, Papa, I told you so,” he noted.

He said immediately after discovering the real identity of Amissah, he put measures in place for his arrest, and it paid off.  The Abuakwa South MP said when Amissah was arrested and sent to the Greater Accra Regional CID office, Mr. Adom was invited to come and write his statement, but he failed to do so.

“I said, Papa, they’ve arrested the man o, so come and give a statement, but he said he can’t come. And I said, if you can’t come, let me talk to the investigator. Amissah wrote a statement that indeed, he took the US$60,000. Now, they took Amissah to court, and he was remanded the first time, waiting for Mr. Adom to come and write his statement, but he declined,” he added. Reacting on the case between his client and the International Structures Group, Lawyer Atta Akyea said being directed to settle the matter with the latter, he notified Mr. Adom on the outcome of the transaction, but again, Mr. Adom declined.

“I said, look, if you will not come and collect any money because you are angry with what you wish I had done or didn’t do is up to you, because I am not going to worry myself over this issue. So we ended the matter,” he observed.

According to Mr. Atta Akyea, Mr. Adom was furious at a losing huge amount of money in the court case he lost against Vivendi, and this had necessitated his anger at him.

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