The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) yesterday failed to appear before the Commission of Enquiry investigating the payment of judgement debts.
Also failing to appear at the commission sitting presided over by Justice Yaw Apau were the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) as well as the Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division).
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 Candidate (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, both of which many believed were dubious and frivolous.
The BNI was scheduled to give details to the commission on pending cases filed against them as well as notices of intention to sue as mandated by law.
When the case was called, the commission’s counsel, Dometi Kofi Sorkpor, informed the Sole Commissioner that the intelligence agency had notified them that they could not make an appearance due to other official engagements.
‘I received a call this morning from one of their officers informing us that in view of the handing over of the outgoing National Security Coordinator to the incoming one, they are unable to be here.’
He said the BNI had requested for a new date and were expected to make an appearance on Wednesday.
According Mr. Sorkpor, MoFEP had also written to inform the commission that a solicitor they were expecting to testify in the case between Balaji Gemlast and Ghana Consolidated Diamonds Limited was not available.
In the case of Customs Division of the GRA, they were expected to testify in the Construction Pioneer (CP) versus the Government of Ghana judgement debt payment but Mr. Sorkpor said ‘we have not heard from them.’
As a result, Sole Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau of the Court of Appeal had to apologise profusely to journalists who were covering the proceedings and promised to expedite action on the cases in subsequent sittings.
‘We are going to disappoint you today. All the witnesses have either travelled or have other assignments,’ Justice Apau said before adjourning proceedings to today.
By William Yaw Owusu
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