Colonel Kwadwo Damoah, a former Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, and Joseph Adu-Kyei, a Deputy Commissioner of the Division, have obtained a restraining order against the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).
The court granted their request for a Certiorari and prohibition against the OSP concerning the Labianca report.
On August 8, 2022, the OSP released an investigative report revealing that Labianca Group of Companies, a frozen foods company owned by Council of State member Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh, evaded import duties exceeding ¢1.074 million.
The OSP alleged that Ms. Asomah-Hinneh utilized her positions in the Council of State and the Board of Directors of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to influence a favorable decision from the Customs Division.
The report implicated Col. Damoah and Deputy Commissioner of Customs Joseph Adu-Kyei in corruption-related acts involving Labianca.
Unsatisfied with the OSP’s report, the two filed a writ at the High Court, seeking the dismissal of the Investigative Report and a restraining order against the OSP from further publication and investigations.
In a ruling on Monday, November 27, 2023, Justice William Boampong stated that the OSP acted without the mandate to make adverse findings against Col.
Damoah and Joseph Adu-Kyei by publishing the report publicly. The court ruled that the OSP assumed the position of a Competent Jurisdiction or a Committee of Inquiry by making adverse findings against the applicants.
Consequently, Justice Boampong granted the request for Certiorari and further restrained the OSP from continuing investigations into the applicants.
Recall that when the Labianca report was released, Col. Damoah accused the OSP of targeting him personally with a report he deemed hollow and motivated by malice.
The OSP called for broader investigations into the Customs Division of the GRA and requested a copy of Integrity plans to prevent corruption.
The former Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner initiated the lawsuit at the High Court after Col. Damoah was implicated in corruption-related acts involving Labianca.
Council of State member Eunice Jacqueline Buah Asomah-Hinneh, the owner of Labianca Company, was accused of leveraging her position to secure favorable decisions from the Customs Division, leading to a reduction in her company’s tax liabilities.
Deputy Commissioner of Customs Joseph Adu-Kyei was cited for issuing unlawful customs advance rulings to Labianca, resulting in a reduction of import values below benchmark values. Col. Damoah was said to have approved this ruling.