No Defence In GH¢60,000 Case
THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL’s (A-G) Department has confirmed judgement debt payment of GH¢60,052 to a former employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, James Manu, and said there was no defence in the case.
A Chief State Attorney at the A-G’s department, Dorothy Afriyie Ansah, yesterday told Justice Yaw Apau, the Sole Commissioner investigating payment of judgment debts to individuals and institutions, that the money was paid to Mr. Manu after a default judgement as her outfit was not able to gather the needed information on time to file a strong defence.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the employer of Mr. Manu, could not produced documents on payments of the judgement debt when it was subpoenaed to provide records on the case.
According to information available to the judgment debt Commission, Mr. Manu had worked as an officer in Ghana’s High Commission in London and retired voluntarily in 1999 after 25 years of service.
Following the retirement, Mr. Manu was given £10,463.17 as his End of Service Benefit (ESB).
However, he contended that the ESB he was entitled to was worth more than the amount given him so he sued the state at the High Court claiming £16,600 with interest.
Consequently, the state filed appearance and the plaintiff (Mr. Manu) applied for “discovery of documents” relating to the case.
The plaintiff’s application was granted but the Attorney-General could not respond to the application within 14 days as directed by the court.
The court, therefore, struck out the A-G’s claims per its statement of defence and accordingly awarded the reliefs sought by the plaintiff.
All attempts to locate Mr. Manu for him to appear before the judgement debt commission on the matter have proved futile as his whereabouts cannot be traced.
The Chief Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jane Gasu, had told the sole commissioner that, they had contacted the Ghana High Commission in London for records on the matter but had been unsuccessful.
Justice Apau’s mandate
Justice Apau’s ‘Commission covered by C.I 79, is enquiring into the payment of Judgement Debt and Akin matters’ such as payment of frivolous and dubious payments of huge monies to undeserving individuals and companies, totalling about $640 million.
The sole commissioner, who is also a Court of Appeal Judge, was appointed by President John Dramani Mahama after public uproar over the payments in what has now come to be termed as Judgement Debts (JD) saga.
Notable among them were payments made to CP (€94 million) and the never-ending case of GH¢51.2million parted to the self-styled NDC financier, Alfred Woyome, both of which many believed were dubious and frivolous.
Even though some of the cases are pending in court, the Sole Commissioner has been tasked with the responsibility to investigate all judgement debt cases to unravel the circumstances that led to the payments.