Business News of Tuesday, 16 April 2013
The Commission on Judgment Debt on Monday commended the Bank of Ghana (BoG) for providing the necessary documents and detailed information on foreign debts payments and legal fee payments to the Commission.
Mr Justice Yaw Appau, the Commissioner of Judgment Debt, said the information provided by the BoG would help facilitate the Commission’s work and also lead it to probe for more information from other public institutions that necessitated the payments of judgment debts. Justice Appau made the commendation when officials of the Bank appeared before the commission at its sitting in Accra.
He said with the documents provided, the commission had now received a full complement of documents and costs pertaining to judgment debts from the bank. “With the essential information provided us, we are happy about it but we will still seek your assistance for further clarification when the need arises,” he explained. Mr Patrick Attah Opoku, Assistant Director responsible for Foreign Banking Office of the BoG provided documents on judgment debt payments and legal fee payments with detailed currency denominations to the commission.
He said the legal fee payments entailed the contracting of foreign lawyers who represented the government of Ghana in cases involving court actions leading to the payment of judgment debts. The contracts, he said, involved payment of foreign currency denominations to lawyers who handled such cases on behalf of the government, spanning 1996 to 20011 except 2006 and 2008, when no payments were made.
Mr Opoku said the Bank was an organisation which only acted appropriately on directives of the Accountant General’s Department, Attorney General’s Department and the Finance Ministry. Mr Leslie Akrong, Assistant Director in charge of Domestic Banking said the bank put in place a taskforce to retrieve the necessary documents pertaining to the payments of judgment debts from the archives.
He said there were no legal fee payments on local judgment debt payments as it was in the case with foreign judgment debts.