Amidu Strikes Betty Over $5.5m Payment

Betty mould Iddrisu and Martin  Amidu 
Former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Martin A.K. Amidu, wants Sole-Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau, to determine whether it was lawful for his predecessor, Betty Mould Iddrisu, to decide on a settlement with Yakubu Kasule, owner of Gbewaa Civil Engineering Limited, in a case against the government.

Mr Amidu’s relentless effort to fight corruption in a government in which he is a leading member, has endeared him to the hearts of Ghanaians and has even earned him the accolade, ‘Citizen Vigilante’.

Mr Amidu is insisting that it was irregular for an Attorney-General to enter into terms of settlement with Yakubu Kasule and his company when all the cases involved were not consolidated before the action.

Terms Of Settlement
The terms of settlement cited by DAILY GUIDE had been signed by Yakubu Kasule and endorsed by his solicitors, Fosu-Gyeabuor & Co, as well as then Deputy Attorney-General, Ebo Barton-Odro – now 1 st Deputy Speaker of Parliament – on October 29, 2010.

Under the settlement, the government paid $5 million in full and final settlement of all legal fees and cost as well as an additional ‘GH¢1 million in full and final settlement of all legal fees and cost.’

Documents at the commission showed that there were four cases involved. They included Yakubu Kasule of Gbewaa Civil Engineering Limited versus Theophilus Cudjoe, Serious Fraud Office and the Attorney-General; Gbewaa Civil Engineering Limited versus Attorney-General; The Attorney-General versus Gbewaa Civil Engineering Limited as well as Gbewaa Civil Engineering Limited and Yakubu Kasule versus Kolon (UK) Limited and the Attorney- General.

According to the commission, the cases were pending in court when the AG decided to strike a settlement between the government and Yakubu Kasule in 2010.

Dometi Kofi Sorkpor, counsel for the commission said, ‘Mr Amidu’s issue was that so long as there were separate cases and had not been consolidated, the AG had no business striking a settlement collectively with Kasule,’ adding, ‘In law, if anything at all, there should have been consolidation before the settlement but that was not done.’

Counsel continued, ‘When there are terms of settlement between two parties, in law the terms would have to be filed and the court would pronounce judgement upon the terms as if there was a full trial as the case having been concluded.’

Mr Sorkpor underscored, ‘Before the petition was filed, Mr Amidu had been talking about this issue. He wants the commission to examine the facts surrounding the matter and determine whether it was properly done or not.’

AG’s Department
Acting Solicitor-General, Helen Akpene Awo Ziwu, told the Commission of Enquiry investigating the payment of judgement debts yesterday that she was yet to see anything of that sort in the records when Justice Apau enquired whether the terms of settlement were entered as a consent judgement.

She admitted the existence of the case but told the commission that they were yet to track all the documents involved, even though she was able to tender in evidence the terms of settlement, some memos as well as criminal appeal that the state filed against Yakubu Kasule.

Mrs Ziwu, flanked by Chief State Attorney, William Kpobi, told the commission that there was a court stamp on the terms of settlement and that was an indication that the document was filed but was not certain if it was enforced subsequently.

 By William Yaw Owusu

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