Commissioner to order audit of judgement debts
The Sole Commissioner of the Judgement Debt Commission, Mr Justice Yaw Apau, says he will soon order forensic audit into all judgement debt payments to unravel the mysterious circumstances under which those payments were made.
He said notwithstanding the fact that judgement debt payments had already been entered, there was the need for the forensic audit, given the mysterious circumstances under which the payments were secured.
Justice Apau gave the hint at the commission’s sitting in Accra yesterday after representatives of some government institutions appearing before it had dismissed claims by the Africa Automobile Limited (AAL) of the indebtedness of their institutions to the company.
The Mitsubishi automobile dealer had taken the Ministry of Finance and the Attorney-General (AG) to court in 2008, 2009 and 2010 over what it claimed to be money owed it by some ministries, departments and agencies (MMDAs) in respect of servicing and other maintenance works.
Having obtained judgement in its favour, the AAL wrote to the Judgement Debt Commission to help it recover the undisclosed sum of money, which counsel for the commission, Mr Dometi Kofi Sokpor, described as ‘so huge, diverse and varied’ and which the Daily Graphic discovered to be $1.5 billion.
Based on the AAL’s submissions, the commission had subpoenaed the MDAs involved to further explore the matter.
But when representatives of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the Lands Valuation Board (LVB) and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) appeared before the commission, they all denied the claims by the AAL.
In some instances, the representatives said there was no proof of the said indebtedness to the AAL, adding that they were not even aware of the court action instituted by the company to make such claims.
What baffled the commission the more was the fact that the MDAs did not know which government institution had transacted such business with the AAL.
The Head of Finance at the BNI, Mr Godfred Agyapong, said the national security body had settled its indebtedness to the AAL in respect of vehicle servicing and maintenance work.
When he took his turn, the Chief Valuer at the LVB, Mr Kwesi Bentsi-Enchill, said records at the board did not show any transaction indicating its indebtedness to the AAL.
Representatives of the GIS also told the commission that there were no documents to verify the claim of indebtedness to the AAL.
The Sole Commissioner said it was strange that none of the MDAs cited as being indebted to the AAL was not attached to the suit filed for the automobile company for judgement debt reliefs.
By Kofi Yeboah/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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