‘Bring the right people’ Judgement Debt commissioner tells Finance Ministry
The Judgment Debt Commissioner, Justice Yaw Apau has lamented about the continuous refusal of the Ministry of Finance to present to the Commission the right caliber of people to answer questions about huge judgment debts paid by the state.
“The other day I was saying that, they can’t push the lawyers here when the lawyers know nothing about the issues.”
The Sole Commissioner made this observation when the representative of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) who was supposed to appear in respect of 34 billion old cedis [3.4 million GHS] paid to Nana Duke Wood, failed to appear.
Justice Apau directed that a letter be served directly on the Executive Director of MoFEP, Major Tara to lodge a complaint to him about the kind of personalities brought before him to testify on issues.
When the matter was called, Counsel of the Commission, Kofi Dometi Sokpor indicated that, “My Lord, when we tried getting in contact with the ministry of finance [we failed], even though the phone rang, there was no response.”
The Commissioner also lamented that “I think these days we are having a problem with the Ministry of Finance. I think we have to write to the Chief Director. I know Major Tara is a very meticulous, man, when he came to office; he was coming personally, before he appointed Mr. Awuah Boadu to come.”
He added, “Now, Mr. Boadu too is not coming, I don’t know, we need them, because that is the number one ministry that can help this commission. Because all payments emanated from the Ministry of Finance so if they don’t come to help us, they are making our work difficult.”
“Just write to Major Tara that’s all because if he becomes aware of the situation now, a soldier as he is, he will act,”
The acting Solicitor General and a Chief State Attorney, Helen Akpene Awo Ziwu who appeared to testify in a petition filed against the Ministry of Health by Agnes Tawuah under Cap 30 pension benefit, said she knew nothing about the case.
“My Lord, we are not aware of this case and we asked that the registry should be searched; we have searched for the past one week and we have not located any file.
“Coming here this morning, I have been given a letter indicating the then Chief Director of 2006, issued a letter addressed to the Minister of Health, so I will go back and look through our records and see if we can trace any file on it,” she noted.
She was, however, tasked by the Commission to go and come back to brief the commission about the law on Cap 30 and Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
According to Justice Apau, Agnes Tawuah and Seth Adja both qualified for the Cap 30 and when they went on pension, they were waiting for their entitlement, but it delayed, so they went in and got the SSNIT and later realized that their entitlement under Cap 30 was 10 times what they received under SSNIT pension.
“According to the officer who came before us, the woman was paid 40m old cedis [4,000 GHS] under the SSNIT pension, but under Cap 30, she will get around 400m old cedis [GHS 40,000] .” Hearing continues today
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