Shocking revelations at Judgement Debt Commission
A Chief State Attorney from Attorney General’s Department (AG), Dorothy Afriyie Ansah has confirmed to the Sole Commissioner that a judgment debt of GH¢60,000 was paid to James Manu, a former employee of the Ghana Embassy in United Kingdom about fifteen years ago.
She admitted that the principal sum was GH¢16000 but due to a delay in payment it accumulated interest more than twice the principal sum.
According to her, Manu had already obtained 10000 pounds in UK but was not satisfied with the retirement benefit so he decided to sue the AG at the High Court in Ghana, where relief was granted and the government ordered to pay him GH¢16000.
The Sole Commissioner, Justice Yaw Appau was amazed at how interest accumulation had always been a problem with outrageous judgment debt payments and how sometimes the interest turns to be twice the seed money.
He said: ‘this problem with government judgment debts arrive even when you deposit your money in banks within two years and one cannot make a huge interest on it
In a similar development, Mrs. Ansah, briefed the commission on a case that led to the judgment debt payment of GH¢58 million to J.K Mbeah, a tipper driver whose vehicle was hit by a police officer.
She told the commission that after Mbeah sued the AG, they sent a letter to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) for comments, in which the IGP accepted responsibility and asked for the case to be settled amicably.
The AG’s office agreed to the request from the Police Service and authorized the Ministry of Finance to effect payment to Mbeah. When quizzed by the Lead Counsel for the Commission, Dometi Kofi Sopkor, whether the money had been paid to Mbeah, she observed that there were no documents to authenticate that but assumed that since Mbeah has not been sighted around, it was an indication that he had been paid.
Justice Appau asked them to verify their assumptions with documents. However, Charles Mbeah, who was the Solicitor for the plaintiff was summoned to confirm if payment had been done.
Ministries of Food and Agriculture and Finance appeared before the commission to submit documents in matters relating to African Automobile Limited (AAL) and J.K Mbeah respectively.
The Director of Legal Unit, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Seth Mensah Dumoga appeared in respect of judgment debt being demanded by AAL for supply of vehicles, services and maintenance.
He said a search through their files could not indicate that there was any form of contract between them, neither supply of vehicles nor services and maintenance of vehicles.
He indicated to the commission that he had worked with the ministry for quite a long time but has not sighted any Mitsubishi vehicles there, and that all their projects were funded by World Bank.
Mr. Dumoga said upon the receipt of the subpoena, a search was conducted in their entire directorate and AG’s office but nothing came up.
There were no documents which indicated MofA was once involved in any contract with AAL, but assured that they would continue search at the Public Records, Archives and Administration Department (PRAAD) if they could find something.
The Director of External Resource Mobilization at the Ministry of Finance, Kwadwo Awuah Peasah was to supply documents in respect on the payment of judgment debt to J.K Mbeah.
He indicated that, no documents relating to the case involving J.K Mbeah was located and prayed for more time to search through their archives.
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