Registrar Going To Court Over Judgement Debt

A former Acting Registrar of the Ghana Law School, who obtained a judgement debt against the state in February 2011, following his unlawful dismissal would be heading to courts for execution. Mr John Yaw Opoku recounted that he was employed as a Deputy Registrar of the school on December 1, 2000, and was to be on probation for one year. He said in February 2003, the position of the Registrar became vacant, and he was subsequently made the Acting Registrar. Mr Opoku, who had petitioned the Judgement Debt Commission, over the state’s delay in paying his judgement debt was testifying before the Commission in Accra on Thursday. He said on September 27, 2003, there was an advert in the newspaper inviting qualified persons to apply for the position of Registrar of the school, which he did. Mr Opoku said after attending the interview for the job, while waiting for the result, which never came, he received a letter from the General Legal Council dated November 21, 2003, which stated in part that “Your appointment can’t be confirmed”. He said he did take the General Legal Council to Court, and judgement was entered in his favour on February 25, 2011, ordering the state to pay him two years’ salary with its accumulated interest. The former Acting Registrar said among the charges which the General Legal Council mentioned before the charge that warranted his dismissal was that vacating his position as a Deputy Registrar when he applied for the Registrar’s job. Mr Opoku said since the court’s ruling, he had petitioned the Chief Justice and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice on the judgement date payment due him, which up to date had not being honoured. He said as at November 2012, the amount involved was revised following increases in salaries from GH₵ 383,219 to GH₵ 414, 917, declaring that that for 2014 was yet to be done. He explained that he had petitioned the Commission for it to recommend to government for the judgement debt to be paid in time in order to avoid incurring more debts due to accumulated interest, and that he would soon be heading for the courts to enhance the judgement debt. Mr Justice Yaw Apau, Sole Commissioner of the Judgement Debt said the state’s delay in paying judgement debts usually leads to huge accumulated interest resulting in huge amounts. Mr Kofi Dometi Sokpor, Lead Counsel for the Commission said judgement debts were usually as a result of negligence on the part of a state official. Also at the Commission in the matter of the payment of compensations to claimants at the Volta Basin flooded areas following the construction of the Akosombo Dam were Mr Kwesi Bentsi-Enchil, Chief Valuer in-charge of Compensation of the Lands Valuation Division of the Lands Commission, and Mr Kwadwo Awuah-Peasah, Director in-charge of External Resources Mobilization – Bilateral at the Ministry of Finance. Sitting has been adjourned to Monday November 3, 2014.