Supreme court orders EOCO to defreeze bank account of businessman
The Supreme Court (SC), by unanimous decision has ruled that the Economic and Organised Crime Organisation (EOCO) lacked the mandate to investigate a case involving two businessmen, Mr Malik Ibrahim and Alhaji Zakaria Ibrahim.
The court, presided over by Justice Gabriel Pwamang, on last Wednesday also set aside the decision of the Financial and Economic Division, Accra High Court, ordering the Registrar of Companies to manage L. Link Limited, the property of Malik Ibrahim.
Per a document filed in court by Malik Ibrahim, the two businessmen, who are siblings, had been engaged in the activities of Pacific Oil Ghana Limited, a company owned by Alhaji Zakaria Ibrahim.
The two later fell apart, but Alhaji Zakaria petitioned EOCO to investigate Mr Malik, his younger brother.
Before petitioning EOCO, the matter was already reported to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service.
On March 2, 2023, the EOCO froze the assets of Mr Ibrahim, including his bank accounts, over allegations of stealing and money laundering made against Mr Malik by Alhaji Zakaria.
Following this action by EOCO, Mr Malik Ibrahim filed a motion at the High Court, Economic and Financial Division, to challenge the freezing of his account by EOCO.
His counsel, Ali Gomdah Abdul-Samad, told the court that EOCO had no locus to investigate the case, as it was a private transaction involving two businessmen.
Ruling on the application, the High Court ordered EOCO to defreeze the bank account of Mr Malik, but made a consequential order to the effect that the Registrar of Companies be appointed to manage L. Link Limited, the property of Mr Malik Ibrahim.
Displeased by the decision of the High Court, Mr Abdul-Samad filed a certiorari application before the SC, and urged the court to quash the High Court ruling.
On July 27, the court unanimously upheld the argument of Abdul-Samad and said it found merit in the certiorari application by Mr Abdul-Samad.
The court said that the decision of the High Court were made in error and same ought to be quashed.
The court noted that the case was already being investigated by the CID and such cases do not fall within the statutory remit of EOCO.
Justice Pwamang who read the ruling said the entire of the court would be filed at the registry of the court by August 3, 2023.
After the ruling, Mr Malik Ibrahim told Media that he felt vindicated.
EOCO froze the accounts of Mr Malik Ibrahim, including his bank account, over a petition made against him by his elder brother, Alhaji Zakaria regarding Pacific Oil Ghana Limited.
It is the case of Malik Ibrahim that at all material times, he had cooperated with the Ghana Police Service that is already investigating the matter.
He said that he availed himself to EOCO when they invited him.