A-G Fails To Defend State Over 10bn Judgment Debt

A State Attorney, Helen French, failed to supply the Judgment Debt Commission with documents in respect of judgment debt of amount GH 1,418, 151.76 (over 10 billion) paid to Henry Osei Danquah in the year 2008, which the AG failed to defend. According to Helen French, the AGs department in Kumasi filed to defend but could not appear before the court to prosecute defends as to why they failed to do that was unknown However judgment was given by the court to Osei Danquah, after which the then AG Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu had a meeting with him and negotiated with the plaintiff and subsequently paid him over 10 billion old Cedis. She indicated to the commission that currently there is scanty information regarding the said case and the main files are not currently available. Helen French added that there may be some form of documentation but the case happened in Kumasi, so all the information might have been left there. She, therefore, prayed to the commission to be given more time to get the files and full brief on the case from the Writ to the judgment that was given to Osei Danquah. The Solicitor General was subpoenaed by the commission to assist in the case in which the AG was sued by Henry Osei Danquah, who sued the state to seek some compensation for demolishing his property, located in Kumasi in the year 2008, and the subsequent settlement in the same year. The lead counsel for the commission, Dometi Kofi Sorkpor in his overview indicated that the AG though filed the defence but failed to prosecute the defendant despite being served with several notice to appear before court. However, the AG went into some kind of compromise with Osei Danquah after the judgment had been entered already. The Sole Commissioner, Justice Yaw Appau, an Appeal Court judge was worried about the frequent inability of the AGs department to supply them with relevant documents. He said in a matter like this, the AGs department in Kumasi was supposed to report everything to the head office, so it was amazed why as at now the head office could not provide the documents on it. In other developments the Acting Commissioner of Customs Excise and Preventive Service Division of Ghana Revenue Authority, Isaac Ofoe Apronti appeared before the commission in a matter involving a CEPS officer, known as Evans Gu, who assaulted a lady by name Martha Eworha at Aflao, in which the state coughed out GH26000 in the year 2006. The CEPS commissioner, however, enlightened the sole commission on how matters of assault are dealt with in respect of the punishment involved for such perpetrators. He told the commission that in such matters, allegations are laid against the officers involved and querried and transferred for preliminary investigation, and where the officer was guilty, he faces a disciplinary committee and subsequently punished after a management decision had been taken. He added that issues of assault are serious offences in the service. According to Offoe Apronti the said incident has just come to his notice and had asked the Aflao division to feed the head office with the necessary documents to enable him brief the commission on what happened to the said officer. According to the lead counsel, Mr. Sorkpor, it came to the notice of the commission during their enquiries that the said officer was arrested and prosecuted. He was asked to pay part of the hospital bills. However, the presiding judge entered that the GH26000 was to be paid by the state, since the officer assaulted the lady during working hours. The commission, however, wanted to know what actually happened to the officer who committed the offence. The Sole Commissioner, in his remarks said the offer was put before the court so he would be surprised if the matter did not come to the notice of the CEPS head office.