General News of Thursday, 26 September 2013
Source: Daily Graphic
Africa Automobile Limited (AAL) is demanding GHc618 million from the government as interest that had accrued from a GHc16 million judgment awarded in favour of the company.
The AAL obtained judgment in its favour in 2010 when it entered into a contractual agreement with some ministries for the supply and servicing of certain vehicles. The failure of the ministries to pay the balances of the supplies resulted in the legal action against the state.
After three years of non-payment, the AAL is requesting the said amount being the accumulation of interest on the balance.
This development angered the Sole Commissioner on Judgement Debt, Mr Justice Yaw Apau, at last Tuesday’s sitting, and he took a swipe at organisations whose actions and inactions had caused the state to needlessly lose millions of cedis.
The development came to light when the Director in charge of Resource Mobilisation at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwadwo Awua-Peasah, was subpoenaed to furnish the commission with copies of agreements on the supply of vehicles from the AAL to the said ministries.
Mr Awua-Peasah told the commission that the ministry had no records on the agreements in respect of the 19 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that were supplied, and also had their vehicles serviced by the AAL.
He explained that AAL went to court over the matter and obtained a judgment that ordered the said MDAs to pay GHc16 million to the company, but the failure to do so caused the amount to balloon to GHc618 million in a spate of three years.
In line with the same issue, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST), Dr Sylvester Anemana, was subpoenaed before the commission to produce copies of an agreement between the MEST and the AAL, but he explained that there was no record of such a contractual agreement between the ministry and AAL.
He said in 2006, when the said agreement was signed, the ministry was not called its present name and, thus, documents to the agreement could not be traced.
The Director of the Department of Urban Roads, Mr Philip Lartey, who was also subpoenaed in connection with the agreement said there were no documents in respect of the supply and servicing of vehicles available at the department.
Earlier, the Chief Executive of New World Investment Limited, Ms Carol Annang, was subpoenaed to explain why the company sued the Ghana National Procurement Agency (GNPA).
She averred that the company had advanced some monies to the GNPA from a fund it managed for AngloGold Ashanti for the importation of Sugar, but the GNPA failed to import the commodity for which reason it was sued for breach of contract.
The GNPA was consequently slapped with a judgement debt of GHc1.1 million, and its failure to pay accrued to GHc4.3 million.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry, however, called for a settlement to have the amount reduced to GHc2.5, and this was accepted by the parties.