Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, Minister of Justice and Attorney General
The Attorney General’s Department has conceded that it failed to defend the State against a questionable 264,000 Ghana cedis claim made against the Ghanaian taxpayer by one Peter Abban over a decade ago.
Mr. Abban sued the State in 2002, claiming contractors who worked on the Kanda Highway had demolished parts of his home in 1993 to pave the way for the road project.
An Accra court later granted Mr. Abban’s claim, compelling the State to pay out over 264,000 Ghana cedis in judgment debt to him.
Over a decade on, documentary evidence received by the Commission investigating past Judgment Debt payments in the country showed that key public institutions failed to defend the State against what has turned out to be questionable claims made by the plaintiff.
At Thursday’s sitting of the body investigating past judgment debt payments in Ghana, Chairman Yaw Apau interrogated the Attorney General’s Department over what he had previously called the department’s lackadaisical defense of the State against Mr. Aban’s claims.
Responding to the Chairman’s questions, a Chief State Attorney, Dorothy Afriyie Ansah said, ‘My Lord though I admit that we (Attorney General’s Department) failed to put up a defense, I made an attempt to set aside the default judgment but that application was not granted’.
She was testifying on revelations at an earlier sitting of the Commission that Peter Abban did not deserve the compensation paid to him because he had rather encroached on a public land earmarked for road construction.
Justice Yaw Appau, an Appeals Court Judge, has severally blamed lawyers at the AG’s Department for numerous default judgments secured against the state by many plaintiffs.
He is also on record as having repeatedly called for decoupling of the Attorney General’s Department from the Ministry of Justice to allow the former room to effectively oversee the activities of lawyers in the Department.
Meanwhile, the Commission has subpoenaed Mr. Peter Abban to appear before it after several unsuccessful public appeals to him.
Credit: Pearl Akanya-Ofori/ Citifmonline
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