GHS51m saga: We’ll retrieve every pesewa – Govt

Minister of Communication, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, has assured the public that government will go through the necessary processes to ensure that the controversial GHS51.2 million judgment debt paid to businessman Alfred Woyome is refunded.

He revealed that government is contesting all other wrongful judgment debt payments to ensure that the country does not lose.

“We are committed to retrieving every pesewa and we also defending. Under President Mahama’s administration no such issue [of judgment debt] has occurred,” Dr Boamah, who was addressing journalists in a press conference on Monday, November 28, stated.

The issue of the repayment of the judgment debt has been a case of contention with former Attorney General Martin Amidu demanding to orally examine Mr Woyome at the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, government has also accused the 2016 flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, of conniving with Great Cape Company Limited to “hoodwink” the state to pay an amount of $1billion as judgment debt to the firm.

Dr Boamah said the NPP had no right to accuse the Mahama administration of paying judgment debts when its flag bearer conspired with Great Cape to attempt to dupe the Ghanaian taxpayer.

Dr Boamah told journalists that the company’s attempt to dupe the state arose “out of a dispute between Ghana National Petroleum Agency and Great Cape Company Limited”, explaining: “In 1978, the former contracted the latter to supply 200,000 tonnes of cement. Along the line, the contract was abrogated and full and final settlement paid according to a letter written by then-Finance Minister Mr Richard Kwame Peprah, and you find this in the judgment. Shockingly, the Great Cape Company Limited brought a frivolous application to hoodwink the state and the taxpayer. Unfortunately, Nana Akufo-Addo came to their aid.

“On 3rd October, 2011, three years after leaving office [as Attorney General] Nana Akufo-Addo wrote a letter to support the Great Cape Company in furtherance of its illegitimate claims on government and the taxpayer. He wrote: ‘It is disconcerting to find that public record keeping has fallen into such straits that the files on this matter cannot be found either in the Ministry of Justice or in the Ministry of Finance. Be that as it may, it will be unconscionable on the part of government if its poor record keeping is used to defeat legitimate claims of its creditors.’ The letter is available [but] Nana was certainly wrong. Great Cape Company did not have any legitimate claim to make. Great Cape Company Limited, on the contrary, was trying to hoodwink the state and the taxpayer and he unfortunately and incompetently fell for it.”

According to Dr Boamah, “On 21 October 2016, just about a month ago in the judgment delivered by his Lordship Eric Kyei Bafour on this matter ably defended by Attorney General Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, His Lordship concludes: ‘On the whole, the plaintiff, who bore the burden of proof at the end of the trial, his claim remained unproved and unimpressive while the evidence of the defendants showed plaintiff had attempted to hoodwink them to make a further payment. In conclusion, plaintiff’s claim is dismissed in its entirety. I will exercise my discretion and award cost of GHS 50,000 in favour of the defendant.’ The judge says the plaintiff was trying to hoodwink the state. A former Attorney General, three years after leaving office, was writing in support of Great Cape Company that was trying to hoodwink the state.”

Dr Boamah quizzed: “How on earth did Nana Akufo-Addo, a former Attorney General and a member of the Ghana Bar Association, write to support the Great Cape Company Limited to hoodwink the state and the taxpayer?”

Source: 
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