Government Ordered To Pay GETFund Arrears
An Accra Fast Track High Court yesterday ordered the government to pay all arrears owed the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund).
This followed the law suit brought against the State by a youth activist of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Richard Nyamah.
He had filed an ex-parte motion of order of mandamus praying the court to compel the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) to defray its accumulated debt owed the (GETFund).
The Attorney-General’s Department in response, filed an affidavit in opposition challenging Nyamah’s locus.
Attached to the Attorney-General’s Department’s statement was a copy of a document to prove that the MoFEP had from January to July, 2013 paid almost GH¢400 million into the GETFund account.
Sean Poku, counsel for Nyamah, detected that the A-G’s response was not signed by a Commissioner of Oath.
The sitting judge, accordingly directed the A-G to do the right thing.
Earlier, Mr. Sean Poku had said that his client was seeking to ensure that the machinery of public administration functioned properly.
But the A-G’s Department insisted that Mr. Nyamah had no capacity to sue the State for which reason his motion should be dismissed.
The A-G had argued that Mr. Nyamah did not show any sufficient interest.
However, the court, presided over by Justice L.L. Mensah, in a ruling yesterday, said that Mr. Nyamah, like any Ghanaian, could bring the application which would in effect be of benefit to the entire nation.
He said that the application brought before the court concerned monies owed GETFund, which per the enabling Act is for the benefit of the tertiary, secondary and basic level education and added that in view of the public interest nature of the matter, Mr. Nyamah had the capacity to bring the action.
Justice Mensah opined that the matter should have been brought against the Board of Trustees or the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) ‘but be that as it may, the A-G had acknowledged the fact that monies are owned the Fund by their exhibits.’
Meanwhile, Mr. Nyamah had earlier indicated his resolve to pull out of the matter as a result of the many adjournments that had preceded the final determination of the case.
The judge had on June 6, 2014 adjourned the case to June 25 because he said he had been indisposed.
However, when the matter was called for hearing on June 25, 2014, the trial judge once again said the ruling on the substantive case before the court was not ready.
After a third adjournment, Mr. Nyamah said, ‘I am getting frustrated and considering pulling out because there is no guarantee that the ruling would be ready on the next adjourned date.’
He said Ghanaian students in Ukraine and other places were suffering the pinch of money not being sent to them; and that some of them could be preparing to come home.
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By Jeffrey De Graft Johnson
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