22 November 2012

Ghana: Modex Oil Manager Arrested

THE BUFFALO Unit of the Ghana Police Service in Kumasi, yesterday arrested the Manager of the Breman branch of the Modex Oil Company, following the company's breach of Ghana Highway Authority ACT 540 of 1997.

DSP Joseph Nyaaba of the Buffalo Unit Commander, who confirmed the arrest to The Chronicle yesterday, said Mr. Kofi Akosah, the manager, would be arraigned before a court of law today, while two labourers engaged by the company in the construction of a new filling station and arrested together with the manager at the site, have been released.

The arrest of the manager follows a complaint by the Regional Director of the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), Mr. Sitsofe David Addo, in connection with the encroachment on a reservation and destruction of a road infrastructure by the company.

The Regional Highway director indicated that the said encroachment was in breach of the provisions of sections 17 (1), (2), (3), (4) a, b, c, (5) (6) (8) and (9) of the GHA Act 540 of 1997.

The GHA had also furnished the police with copies of correspondence between the GHA and the ARCC, as well as directives and pictures of damages caused by the company to road furniture in the area.

Modex Oil Company has persistently disregard directives of the GHA and the Regional Co-ordinating Council (ARCC) to stop work at the site and take specific instructions.

In August, this year, GHA handed a GH¢146,065.64 fine on Modex Oil Company Limited, as cost and penalty for encroaching on a road reservation of the Authority at Breman in Kumasi.

The amount, which includes a 15% penalty of GH¢19,052.04 is penalty for causing damage and unwarranted destruction of a road furniture, a thick concrete protection of the embankment and for excavating materials from the said site, without any authorization.

Modex was supposed to settle the amount by September 4, 2012, after it failed to meet an August 28, 2012, deadline. But the Oil Company defied orders of the Ghana Highways Authority Regional Lands Committee/Task Force to stop work in the face of GHA's intention to take appropriate action if Modex Oil refuses to honour settlement of the said amount as directed.

Failure of Modex Oil, complying with the GHA orders, a report was lodged with the RCC upon which the Regional Co-ordinating Director, Mr. Kofi Dwomor-Asubonteng, on behalf of the Regional Minister in a letter dated October 6, 2012, issued a directive to halt the unauthorized development.

The RCC reminded Modex Oil Company that disregard for the GHA instructions is a breach of powers conferred on the GHA to maintain the road which is a public good reserved to ensure safety of users of the road and that any such blatant disregard of the law would not be countenanced.

In spite of these admonitions, the company defied the RCC orders and refuse to pay the GH¢146,065.64 cost of damage, while work went on aggressively until the GHA lodged another complaint with the police on November 21, 2012, to effect the arrest of the manager yesterday.

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