Osafo Maafo Bounces Auditor General

Yaw Osafo-Maafo and Daniel Yao Domelevo

Senior
Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo has said that the Auditor-General (A-G), Daniel Yao
Domelevo, knows very well that he (minister) is not the rightful person to
accede to the plea asking him for time in order to gather documents in the
much-talked-about $1 million Kroll and Associates Limited surcharge case.

The
minister and four officials from the Ministry of Finance who have been
surcharged by the A-G have told Mr. Domelevo in plain language that the power to
grant such a request is in the hands of the courts and not the appellants.

Appellant Surprised

The
appellants, in a letter from their lawyers, insisted that
they are surprised that Mr. Domelevo has set out to beg them for more time to
gather documents covering the basis for the purported Kroll Associates surcharge
when it is the courts he is supposed to send the request to.

Leaked Letter

Lawyers
for Mr. Osafo-Maafo and co in a reply to Mr. Domelevo’s request letter which
was leaked to the media ahead of delivery to the appellants, insisted that they
did not believe they have the requisite authority to grant A-G the plea he is
asking of them to grant and added that since A-G’s ‘deliberate’ refusal to
comply with the law is deemed as contempt of court, it would be reprehensible
on the part of the appellants to grant that request even if they had the
authority to do so.

The
appellants insisted that granting Mr. Domelevo’s request would amount to usurpation
of the powers of the High Court.

Disallowance & Surcharge

According
to the appellants, they are not aware of any disallowance and surcharge by the
Attorney-General, the subject matter of their appeal as the headline of ‘Re: In
the matter of an appeal against disallowance and surcharge by the
Attorney-General; Yaw Osafo-Maafo& 4 others v the Auditor-General,’ from
Mr. Domelovo’s correspondence suggested.

The
appellants said they duly invoked the jurisdiction of the High Court in
accordance with Rule 5(1) and (2) of Order 54A of C. I. 47 as amended, by
applying for the consequences of Mr. Domelevo’s refusal to comply with the
relevant rules of court to be affirmed by the court.

Effect of Application

According
to the appellants, they are unable to undermine the effect of their application
by acceding to the request of the A-G as they do not believe they are vested
with the requisite authority to do so.

They
claimed that Mr. Domelevo ‘deliberately or inadvertently’ did not address the
import of their application for contempt filed on 20th January and rather chose
to rely on what they claim to be “a totally inapplicable rule in C. I. 47 as
amended.”

The
appellants insisted that the A-G “by this conduct continues to exhibit disdain
and disrespect for the Honourable High Court and the law, thereby exacerbating
the obvious consequences of his contemptuous conduct.”

Firm Position

The
appellants said they were holding the firm position that even if they were
enabled by any rule of procedure to grant any consent to ameliorate or
otherwise waive the consequence of what they claimed to be the A-G’s “deliberate
non-compliance with the applicable legal framework,”they find it “potentially
reprehensible” on their part to be asked by Mr. Domelevo “to overreach the court”
in view of all the circumstances of the case.

Begging For Time

Last
week, the A-G reportedly wrote to the Senior Minister and the other appellants begging
them for time to gather documents in the Kroll Associates audit case.

The
A-G asked for the consent of the appellants to enable him to find documents to
prove his basis of surcharging the government officials in court.

Original Appeal

After
surcharging the Senior Minister and co following the A-G’s accusation that they
authorized payment to Kroll and Associates for no work done, Mr. Osafo-Maafo
and the four officials from the Ministry of Finance, namely Michael Ayesu,
Abraham Kofi Tawiah, Eva Asselba Mends, and Patrick Nom, filed an appeal in
court challenging the surcharge decision.

Although served with the process, the A-G refused to file a response and that compelled Mr. Osafo-Maafo and co to cite him for contempt of the court.

By Gibril Abdul Razak