Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday confirmed that three separate suits have been filed against them over contractual disputes.
Macarius Akanbong, a Deputy Director – Legal and Consular Bureau at the Ministry, flanked by Khalilah Hackman told the Commission of Enquiry investigating the payment of judgment debts that all the three cases were pending in court and therefore not go into the merits.
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 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.
Mr Akanbong, flanked by Khalilah Hackman also at the Legal and Consular Bureau at the Ministry told Sole Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau that a suit filed by African Catering Service leads the pack.
He said two of the Ministry’s staff in missions in Ivory Coast and France also filed suits and notices respectively from wrongful dismissals but the Paris issue was currently on arbitration and promised it was going to be dealt with soon.
He said the catering firm on the other hand was suing the Ministry due to a contractual disagreement over services it provided during an Africa Caribbean Pacific Conference.
Mr Akanbong mentioned another suit filed by a Ghanaian called Chancellor Kohl who claimed his university certificate and money were misplaced by the Ghana mission in London.
Justice Apau then advised the various ministries to corporate with the Attorney General to settle suits brought against the State saying, ‘In the past, some of the suits against the State were not well defended and that brought about huge judgement debts.’
He also urged the ministries to strengthen their legal departments in order that the country would not be shortchanged in negotiations, adding, ‘Involve the legal departments in every deliberation so that they can proffer better advice.’
Failing to appear before the commission however, were Ministries of Food and Agriculture and Health.
Dometi Kofi Sorkpor, counsel for the Commission both ministries wrote letters asking for adjournments to enable them to prepare adequately.
By William Yaw Owusu
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