The assets of Council of State member Nii Kotei Dzani, who founded the now-defunct First Trust Savings and Loans and Ideal Finance, have been frozen by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).
They include 41 bank accounts of Ideal Finance.
The lawyer for EOCO, Mr Abu Issah, has also revealed that Nii Dzani’s vehicles and landed properties have also been frozen.
First Trust Savings and Loans and Ideal Finance were two financial institutions that were highly illiquid and consequently, the customers could not retrieve their deposits and investments.
The move by EOCO is to help retrieve depositors’ funds that have been locked up with the companies for months now.
EOCO had invited Nii Kotei Dzani for questioning on three allegations: paying GHS23 million to a client, allegedly stealing a 200-acre land from Ideal Finance, and unlawfully using Ideal Finance funds to build ‘Camp Tsaetse’, a resort in Ada.
This was upon a referral from the Receiver for Ideal Finance.
A High Court had dismissed an application filed by Mr Dzani to stop EOCO from investigating him over the collapse of Ideal Finance.
Mr Dzani had argued that EOCO was essentially harassing him in a way that made ‘nonsense’ of his status as a member of the council of state.
But the court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare Botwe, ruled in favour of EOCO that its dealings with Mr Dzani have been fair and at all times acted within the mandate of its establishing law.
It said Mr Dzani’s position as a Council of State member or as a prominent businessman does not prevent him from investigations from properly mandated statutory bodies; thus, dismissing Mr Dzani’s application for an injunction.
The injunction’s dismissal would pave way for EOCO to proceed with its investigations of the businessman over allegations of money laundering and tax evasion in the collapse of the finance house.