No Account For Judgement Debt

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) says it does not have a special account designated for the payment of judgement debts.

This was in spite of the Sole Commissioner’s insistence that evidence on the records indicated there is an account at the central bank for judgement debts payment.

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 Dramani 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 (€94 million) and the never-ending case of GH¢51.2million parted to the self-styled National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, both of which many believed were dubious and frivolous.

No Judgement Debt Account

Appearing before Sole Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau of the Court of Appeal yesterday, Gabriel Bokor a Deputy Chief Manager at the Banking Department of the BoG told the commission that the account number quoted in two separate letters from the Controller and Accountant General in January 2007 could not be a judgement debt account.

He said the account in question (0113060014036) referred to by the Controller and Accountant General as judgement debt account was rather a five-year Treasury Bond account number.

“Our checks showed that this account quoted could not be an account designated for judgement debt. It is a five-year Treasury Bond account number.”

Flanked by Saviour Kudze of the Legal Department of the BoG, Mr. Bokor said “there has never been a situation where a special account has been created for judgement debt.”

Counsel for the commission, Dometi Kofi Sorkpor then reminded the commission that an official from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning had already testified and said there was a special account at the central bank for the payment of judgement debt.

Justice Apau then asked the witness to go back and crosscheck the facts and figures quoted by the Controller and Accountant General and return to the commission for further questioning.

Ho Building Palaver

Earlier, the Ho Municipal Assembly in the Volta Region appeared before the commission to dispute compensation claim by one Andrew A. Tefutor, a retired civil servant.

According to Felix Seloame, the Municipal Town Planning Officer representing the MCE, Mr. Tefutor did not deserve any compensation from the government because the assembly even on humanitarian grounds built a new house for him after a road construction project.

Mr. Tefutor’s claim was that he acquired a parcel of land in Ho and the assembly took over portions of the land for the construction of a by-pass but Mr. Seloame said the government does not even pay compensation for lands taken for road construction.

The Municipal Town Planning Officer said Mr. Tefutor got building permit in 1989 but built a three-bedroom uncompleted house right within the portion earmarked for a link road to divert traffic from the centre of Ho.

“His land was intact and he built his house in the link road earmarked so when the construction was done in 1998 his building was pulled down but on humanitarian grounds, the assembly built a four-bedroom house and handed over to him in 2000 which was even bigger than what he had built.

“I do not understand why he is here asking for compensation. As at the time the building was demolished to pave way for the construction, there were not economic trees on the land as he is claiming today.”

Gershon Quamie Tsra, Regional Lands Officer who was also subpoenaed to testify in the matter said “the assembly should not have built a new house for him in the first place because his land was never touched during the construction. It was done for him purely on humanitarian grounds.”

Justice Apau then adjourned the matter sine die for Mr. Tefutor to be traced and also give his version of the story.