The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning yesterday confirmed compensation payment to the Carmichael Family in respect of the Aveyime Livestock project in the Volta Region.
According to Kwadwo Awua-Peasah, the ministry’s director in charge of External Resource Mobilization (Bilateral), the payment was done in two tranches totalling about GH¢2.6million.
The ministry made the confirmation at the ongoing Commission of Enquiry that is investigating the payment of judgement debts.
The ‘Commission of Enquiry into the payment of Judgement Debt and Akin’ under C.I. 79 to investigate the frivolous and dubious payments of huge monies to undeserving individuals and companies, was appointed by President John Dramani Mahama after public uproar over the payments in what has now come to be termed as Judgement Debts (JD).
Notable among them were payments made to CP (â‚¬94 million) and the never-ending case of GH¢51.2million parted to the self-styled National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, both of which many believed were dubious and frivolous.
Mr. Awua-Peasah said it was the eminent jurist Justice V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe who wrote a letter on the instructions of the President in 2009 to release the money to the Carmichael Family.
He said documents available indicated that the first payment of GH¢3.2million was authorized on April 28, 2009 while another amount of GH¢530,628.44 was released as the final tranche of payment on May 27, 2009.
The witness further told Sole Commissioner, Justice Yaw Apau, of the Court of Appeal that about $240,000 was paid as solicitor fees and exchange rate losses stood at about GH¢530,000.
It emerged that the order for the payment was made on January 6, 2009 and the compensation was denominated in Ghana Cedis but the solicitor fees was in dollars.
Justice Apau then said the commission was waiting for the Attorney General’s Department to ‘brief us properly on the sort of property acquired by the state and how the amount for the solicitor was denominated in cedis.’
Mr. Awua-Peasah also testified on outstanding debts owed service providers, contractors and other clients by the ministry and its allied institutions.
He said there are currently about 52 such service providers, contractors as well as other clients and the outstanding debts were carryovers from the fiscal year.
He said the ministry was working hard to settle all it debts and appealed to clients especially contractors to exercise patience with them.
Mr. Awua-Peasah again testified in the compensation claims by the Ntwea Family in Western Region where the Bulk Oil Storage Transportation (BOST) is expanding its facilities at Atwere Boanda.
He said as far as the ministry was concerned, there was no documentation covering the transaction but added that it could be due to the fact BOST is a limited liability company and might have negotiated without government’s input.
He also told the commission that the ministry’s lawyer who had information that the transaction between Balaji Gemlast and Ghana Consolidated Diamonds Limited was out of the jurisdiction, and asked for more time before complaining bitterly about how he was misquoted in the media the last time he appeared before the commission.
Subsequently, Mark Kakraba Ampeh, Chief Executive Officer of Goldstreet Real Estate Consult who handled the valuation assessment for the Ntwea Family in the BOST compensation claim testified at the commission.
He said E.I. 35 was issued to cover the 185.30 acres of land taken by the government for the BOST project and the value stood at GH¢4.951,386 with 10 percent professional fees.
Mr. Ampeh said after a counter evaluation by the Lands Commission the final assessment was pegged at GH¢4.4million and the family has since received the compensation.
Later, Owusu Sekyere Antwi, director of Bridges at the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) told the commission that the Messrs Sarroch Grandulati/Gelfi Joint Venture versus Ministry of Roads and Highways concerning the Asafo Market interchange in Kumasi was completed.
He said the project which was started in 2004 was completed and commissioned in 2008 with certificate for the payment issued in November 2007, while the adjoining pedestrian footbridge which was left undone by Sarroch Grandulati/Gelfi was also completed and commissioned last year.
By William Yaw Owusu
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