Controversy Over GH¢2.5m Judgement Debt
THE PAYMENT OF GH¢2.5million to New World Investment yesterday took the centre state at the judgement debt commission with disagreements over the amount paid.
Financial and Management consultants, New World Investment (now New World Securities), received the judgement of GH¢2.5 million against the Ghana National Procurement Authority (GNPA) as result of about GH¢1million the latter borrowed from the former in the form of ‘commercial paper’ in 2004 to augment its working capital.
However, Counsel for GNPA, Yaw Opoku Adjaye, told the sole commissioner, Justice Yaw Apau, that to the best of his knowledge, New World Investment should have received GH¢1.6 million as judgement debt and not GH¢2.5 million.
He said there were disagreements in court about how much GNPA should pay since the Authority had already paid GH¢550,000 out of the principal amount within the stipulated period, leaving a balance of GH¢450,000.
Elucidating on the issue, GNPA Acting Chief Executive, Douglas Y. Kumasi, indicated it was the unpaid amount that the New World Investment took to court in 2007.
Out of Court Settlement
The case was subsequently taken out of court for settlement and disagreements ensued during negotiations involving the Ministry of Trade and Industry, GNPA and New World Investment.
According to Mr. Kumasi, New World Investment insisted on calculating the amount due them by working a compound interest on the face value of the commercial from the date of default on April 28, 2004 to December 31, 2009 and this resulted in an amount of GH¢4,377,832.28.
GNPA supported by the terms of the commercial paper, he pointed out, was of the view that interest ought to be calculated on simple interest, using the rate quoted on the paper and this method yielded GH¢1.623.919.84.
Mr. Kumasi said when New World Investment worked out the amount due using the simple interest method, the amount came to a little over GH¢1,800,000.
‘In our desire to resolve this matter amicably, GNPA Limited suggested that an offer of GH¢2,000,000.00 could be made to New World Investment in final and total satisfaction of any/or all amounts due them in respect of this indebtedness,’ he stated, adding that this was subject to the approval of the then Trade and Industry Minister, Hanna Tetteh.
According to New World Investment did not agree to the offer by GNPA Limited and indicated that their clients, AGC workers, could consider accepting GH¢3,500,000.00, having come down from the initial GH¢4,377,832.28.
Mr Kumasi said the Ministry of Trade and Industry had to agree on the GH¢2.5 million to protect state property when the New World Investment to attach the plush headquarters of GNPA and sell it to pay the debt.
We Don’t Owe AAL
The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and the erstwhile Ministry of Lands and Forestry have told the sole commissioner investigating payment of huge judgement debts to institutions and individuals that they do not owe car suppliers, Africa Automobile Limited (AAL).
GIS and Ministry of Lands Forestry were said to be among 19 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) owing AAL in respect of vehicles supplied and servicing of cars by the company as far back as 1990s, which resulted in judgement payment of GH¢8.3 million in 2010.
However, these two institutions yesterday informed sole commissioner Justice Yaw Apau that they had fully paid for all the vehicles supplied by AAL and the services rendered and, therefore, could not fathom why they were included in the list.
Ironically, all the MDAs that had appeared before the sole commissioner indicated they had never been consulted nor served with any writ regarding the so-called indebtedness to AAL before the judgement debt was paid.
Lands and Forestry now Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources was subpoenaed by the judgement debt commission to provide agreements and documents relating to some Mitsubishi vehicles by AAL as well as balances in respect of payments for maintenance and servicing of such vehicles.
Responding to the subpoena, the Financial Controller of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Johannes Agordjo, intimated to the judgement debt commission that AAL supplied to the ministry six Mitsubishi L200 pick-ups at the cost of $123,600.00 and two Pajero vehicles at the cost of $71,600.00.
According to Mr. Agordjo, who represented the Chief Director at the ministry, all vehicles were fully paid for and, therefore, they did not owe AAL.
He indicated the ministry had settled the cost of the vehicles as well as all charges relating to servicing and maintenance of those vehicles.
Deputy Financial Controller of the GIS, Foreigner Owusu Addo, told the sole commissioner the Service received two Mitsubishi L200 pick-ups from the Ministry of Interior.
The vehicles, according to him, were said to have been supplied by AAL and, therefore, it was the ministry that was responsible for the payment of the vehicles and not GIS.
He could not, however, confirm whether the ministry paid for the vehicles or not as they did not have any records to that effect.
As of 2004, AAL claimed GIS owed it an amount in respect of servicing of a number of vehicles.
By Awudu Mahama
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