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Monday, November 16, 2009


… As businessman battles `Togbui Sri` over ownership
… Suspect arrested, nine others already jailed

By Emmanuel Akli, Ag. Editor | Posted: Monday, November 16, 2009

Mr. Francis Nyonyo Agboada
Mr. Francis Nyonyo Agboada
The Tema Regional Command of the Ghana Police Service has arrested a man holding a pump action gun purporting to be protecting the filling station in front of the former Sabat Motors, which ownership is in serious dispute.

The man, who would not be named by the Commander, Augustine Gyening, has been granted bail, and ordered to produce the one who provided him with the gun.

Earlier in the year, a group of thugs allegedly attacked the same facility, resulting in the death of one person, and the destruction of properties.

At centre of the dispute is an Accra-based businessman, Chris Etse Azawodie, Executive Director of Senalie Company Limited, an imports company, and the Managing Director of Fraga Oil, Mr. Francis Nyonyo Agboada, popularly known as Togbui Sri.

Whilst Chris is accusing Mr. Agboada of trying to seize property he had legitimately acquired from Sabat Motors, and preventing him from having access to the facility, the latter is also arguing that he acquired the property from Shell Ghana Limited, which he has been using for his oil business for the past thirteen years, and that if Chris thinks he has taken over his property, the best forum to settle the matter was the court, and not threats.

Chris Azawodie’s Story

Chris Azawodie told The Chronicle that somewhere in 2006 the management of Sabat Motors approached him that the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) was threatening them with legal action, because they had failed to settle fully the cost of the property, which includes the disputed filling station the former sold to them.

According to Chris, based on the arrangement between the two parties, it was agreed that he (Chris) pays the outstanding money on behalf of Sabat Motors to the DIC, after which ownership would be transferred to him.

Senalie Company Limited, which is owned by Chris, subsequently paid ¢1,400,000,000 into the account of the DIC, on behalf of Sabat Motors.

The Managing Director of Sabat Motors, Nelson K. Sena, acknowledged receipt of the payment in letter to Senalie Co. Ltd., dated November 6th, 2006.

Mr. Chris Azawodie further told The Chronicle that prior to the payment and subsequent takeover of the property, the management of Sabat Motors had since 2005 written a series of letters, signed by Nelson K. Sena, the Managing Director, to Fraga Oil, asking it to vacate the filling station, which is in front of Sabat Motors, because it was their legitimate property, which were ignored.

One of such letters to Fraga Oil, dated February 10th, 2009, reads: We refer to our letters dated 16/6/2005, 27/6/2005, 8/7/2005, 18/8/1005, 22/7/2008, 11/8/2008 to you, in respect of plots numbers 9 and 6 at Tema, belonging to R.T. Brisccoe. I wish to bring to your notice that those two plots were handed over to SABAT MOTORS LTD by the Divestiture Implementation Committee in 1997. Since the year 2006, SABAT MOTORS has assigned the above workshop and Filing Station to Senalie & Co. for renovation and occupation. We are therefore requesting you to vacate the Filing Station by 15th March 2009, to give way for our rehabilitation programme.

Fraga Oil

Azawodie alleged that despite this clear directive to Fraga Oil and its Managing Director, Francis Nyonyo Agboada, the latter has refused to vacate the property, and continues to prevent him from using the facility.

He therefore went to the Tema police, showed all the transactional documents to them, and requested that he be provided with security to have access to his property and use it, which was granted.

According to him, he took that decision because he has to use the disputed filling station to get access to buildings behind it, where his goods had been kept.

Azawodie regretted that after supporting him for sometime, the police withdrew the protection service, for reasons he could not fathom, and Nyonyo Agboada has since been harassing he and his workers, preventing them from going there to work.

Nyonyo Agboada’s side of the story

Mr. Francis Nyonyo Agboada, on his part, told this reporter that he is a law-abiding citizen, and would not use any subtle means to take over somebody’s property.

He argued that if Chris claims he had taken over his property, the best thing to do was to drag him to court, for the latter to adjudicate in the matter, which he has failed to do.

He insisted that he acquired the property from Shell Ghana Limited, and has the relevant documents to back his claim.

According to him, when SABAT MOTORS started writing the letters to him, he made it clear to them that the property did not belong them, as they were alleging, and that it was wrong for them to have sold it to a third party.

Togbui Sri alleged that it was Azawodie who started the whole problem, by organising people to attack his workers at the filing station.

He alleged that in one of such attacks, a worker lost his life, whilst property worth GH¢150,000 was destroyed.

A report was subsequently made to the police, leading to arrest of Azawodie and nine others. The latter were convicted for unlawfully causing destruction to property, and were currently serving various jail terms.

The murder aspect of the case is currently pending against Azawodie, and those who have already been jailed, Togbui Sri alleged.

The Managing Director of Fraga Oil told The Chronicle that he would soon sue Azawodie for the destruction he caused to his property.

Torgbui Sri also alleged that the same management of SABAT MOTORS, headed by Nelson Sena, and one Ahadzi, who claim to have sold the building behind the filing station to Azawodie, also took various sums of money from him, and gave him receipts to that effect, to sell the same buildings to him.

To him, therefore, he also has the right to claim the buildings Azawodie claims have been sold to him. Sri reiterated that he was a law abiding citizen, and that Azawodie must use the due process of the law to determine the true owner of the disputed property, instead of resorting to rough tactics.

What the Police also said

The Tema Regional Police Commander, Augustine Gyening, on his part, admitted that Chris Azawodie requested for police protection to use the former SABAT MOTORS building, which was granted, but the permit was not renewed when it expired, after the police got to know that there was a dispute as to who owns the property.

Gyening argued that the police have no mandate to interfere in land matters, and that the decision not to renew the permit was a legitimate one.

The police boss also confirmed that one person had been arrested with a pump action gun, which he claims was given to him by a worker at the Fraga Oil to protect the land from aggressors.

Gyening said the suspect had been granted bail to produce the one who provided him with the gun else he would be put before court.

Source:The Chronicle

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