EOCO To Appear Before Judgement Debt Commission

The Commission on Judgement Debt has decided to subpoena the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to answer whether it has given the clearance for the payment of GH¢780,000 compensation for the acquisition of the Adaklu-Abutia Game Reserve.

The land was acquired by a Legislative Instrument in 1975 to be made a game reserve.

The Attorney General’s Department subsequently instructed the payment of the GH¢780,000 to four families, two from Adaklu and two others from Abutia – for the acquisition of the land.

When the Director in charge of External Resource Mobilisation at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Kwadwo Awuah-Peasah, appeared before the commission last Tuesday, he said the government paid GH¢104,981 to the Adaklu and Abutia families in the 1970s and 1980s.

He said it was the revaluation of the remaining portion of the land in 2005 that had put the amount at GH¢780,000.

The letter for the payment of the compensation was dated December 18, 2009.

However, Mr Awuah-Peasah said the then Serious Fraud Office (SFO), now EOCO, in a letter dated February 11, 2010, asked the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to suspend payment of that compensation because it was investigating aspects of the case.

He said he did not know whether the GH¢780,000 was paid to the four families or not.

The Sole Commissioner, Mr Justice Yaw Apau, therefore, said it was important for EOCO to appear before the commission “to help us clarify the issue.”

He said EOCO should state why it was investigating the payment of the compensation and whether it had given the go ahead for the whole compensation to be paid to the four families.

Retired police officers
A private legal practitioner, Mrs Margaret Yaa Ntiriwaa Achiampong, appeared before the commission in relation to the payment of compensation to police officers who were prematurely retired from the service in 1993.

Mrs Achiampong told the commission that she started the case in 1999 for her uncle, who was one of the retired officers.

She said seven other police officers joined in the case, and a judgment was given in their favour in 1999 and the compensation of GH¢32,400 paid to them in 2003.

Mrs Achiampong said she was the solicitor for another batch of 706 police officers, who were also retired prematurely from the service.
She said jugdement was given in their favour and they were paid GH¢36 million compensation.

Ghana Police Service
A legal officer at the Ghana Police Service, Mr Anthony Kokroko, told the commission that the police officers were retired at age 50 and 55 instead of 60.

He said the retired officers were given judgement in default, and indicated that the state could get some mitigating factors if the Attorney General had pursued the case.

That, he said, was because some of the retired police officers were paid off.