[ 2012-07-13 ]
Dr. Tony Aidoo
Ghana needs a Commission of Enquiry to deal with judgment debts
Director of Monitoring and Evaluation at the
Presidency, Dr. Tony Aidoo has said Ghana must set
up a public enquiry to deal with the spiraling
Dr. Aidoo who joined Joy News’ current affairs
program pm: EXPRESS Thursday said the discussion
on judgment debts have been so politicized, the
real issues have been muffled.
Judgment debts have rocked the nation so bad it is
on record that government has paid over 600
million Ghana cedis between 2009 and 2012. An
issue of national import, discussants on the
program said the discussion must be taken out of
the political arena to the public space focusing
on how to properly manage state resources.
Dr. Aidoo was of the opinion that an independent
public enquiry will be able to identify the root
cause of these increasing judgment debts, the
impact on the country and how to deal with it when
it gets to the court.
He said most of the judgment debt cases have
arisen from misconduct and general indiscipline.
“We must formulate a policy to deal with
management of state resources especially when
gross dereliction of duty and illegal abrogation
of contracts lead to indebtedness on the part of
Contributing on the show, Mike Ocquaye Jnr
concurred a public enquiry will do the nation good
in dealing with the issue but added that the
situation where government procedures and
processes are ignored, is what has brought the
country so many judgment debts.
Citing the Isofoton case as an example, he said
government had gone ahead to contract experts to
review the case and advice it. Unfortunately
before the legal team could make their
recommendation which was for government to head to
court and battle the case, government had already
decided to pay the money.
“This is a team of experts put together and paid
520,000 Euros. When the report came, the experts
said we should not pay the money. So even with the
Isofoton, the government experts, the government
consultants advised the government not to pay the
money. Go to court because there is no breach and
yet the government did not go to court and
settled” he said.
Mike Ocquaye Jnr fumed “on what advice, on what
opinion did the government still pay the money to
Isofoton?” He challenged why the Ministry of
Energy would mention Kwadwo Mpiani, Joe Ghartey
and Professor Mike Oquye as liable, saying it is a
mischief to dilute the irresponsibility starring
the government in the face. “Why waste 520,000
euro of taxpayers’ money for legal opinion that is
not used?” He asked.
Mike Ocquaye’s opinion is that, Deputy Information
Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa must be
questioned on why he pushed for the Isofoton debt
to be paid. “It appears some state officials,
civil servants are trying to use judgment debts to
make money” he added.
The law is not definite on judgment debt he said,
but once a case against government has gone to
court and the government has legitimately lost,
the state has no choice but to pay the awarded
Source - Joy News
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