Commission Unhappy With AG, Foreign Ministry
The lackadaisical attitude of officials at the Attorney General’s Department and the Foreign Ministry towards judgment debt compensation came up for condemnation when Mr. James Manu, a retired diplomat, appeared before the Judgment Debt Commission on Monday.
Mr. Justice Appau, the Commissioner, was unhappy about the behaviour of officials of the two institutions for refusing to appear before a London Court to defend the State in a case brought up by Mr. Manu.
The institutions also refused to appear before an Accra High Court when Mr. Manu sued the Foreign Ministry for under-payment of his End of Service Benefits.
The court gave judgment in favour of Mr. Manu and authorised the payment of more than 60,000 Ghana Cedis to him, in addition to the 10,000 pounds that he received earlier from the Foreign Ministry, as End of Service Benefits.
Mr. Manu submitted judgment claims from the London Court and Certificate of Judgment in Ghana to the Commission. The former diplomat said he worked for the Foreign Ministry in London for 25 years, and went on retirement in 1999.
The Ministry paid Mr. Manu more than 10,000 pounds as End of Service Benefits, but he was not satisfied with that amount, and took the matter to court. Mr. Manu said the London Court asked the Ministry to pay him 28,000 pounds.
He said the Ministry, therefore, owned him 18, 000 pounds, but when he came to Ghana and initiated legal action, he was paid 16,000 Ghana Cedis.
Mr. Justice Appau said: “Nobody is blaming Mr. Manu for what happened. If you have enforced the judgment, you would have received 18,000 pounds. Our worry is about the lukewarm attitude of the Attorney Genera’sl Department and the Foreign Ministry toward cases”.
Mr. Boniface Senahia, Senior Manager at the State Enterprise Audit Corporation, who appeared before the Commission, still maintained the Corporation’s stance that the “working papers” on the audit work it carried out on Ghana National Petroleum Corporation have been destroyed.
Mr. Senahia said: “I must confess that we encountered limitation of scope which means, we could not carry out all proceedings during the auditing.”
“ You called for this paper, it is not there, you called for that paper, it is also not there,” Mr. Senahia told the Commission, adding: “The quotations of figures were so huge and you try to substantiate them and we couldn’t”.
Asked whether there was any law that mandated the Corporation to destroy “working papers” within 10 years period, Mr. Senahia said it was a working practice of the Corporation.
The Commission is worried that without the working papers, it wil be difficult for it to find out the liabilities of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation to Societe-Generale.