General News of Thursday, 19 December 2013
President John Dramani Mahama has come to the rescue of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly whose property is being auctioned to defray a debt owed City and Country Waste Limited.
The official residence of the Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Mr. Alfred Oko Vanderpuije was auctioned for 850,000 Ghana cedis Thursday.
Three other properties belonging to the AMA and located at Ridge in Accra were also auctioned for a total of 2,255,000 Ghana cedis to defray a debt owed by the AMA arising out of a court case dating back to 2008.
Vans Mart Auctioneers conducted the auctions but the sale will not stand.
The President has intervened to save the AMA's property from being sold.
Accra Mayor, Mr. Vanderpuije himself confirmed the President's intervention to Joy News.
The sale followed notices of auction placed on the properties by an Accra High Court following a 2008 Supreme Court ruling in favour of City and Country Waste Limited (CCWL), a waste management company whose contract was allegedly terminated by the Kufuor administration.
The company is demanding $6,575,928.52 in judgement debt owed it by the AMA.
The notice on the properties issued by the Sheriff’s Office, Fast Track/Automated Court and dated March 3, 2012, read, “Notice is hereby that in pursuance of a decree of the said court date the 13th day of February, 2008…, in the above suit (CCWL vs Accra Metropolitan Assembly), the property of the said defendant, having been seized, in the execution under writ fi.fa, dated 21st day of February, 2012, will be sold by public auction on a date to be issued at 11 a.m. unless the said decree shall be sooner satisfied, to writ.“
The AMA had appealed to the government to bail it out and “pay the $6,575,928.52 judgement debt that the AMA owes City and Country Waste Limited on its behalf to enable the assembly to have respite to concentrate on its better Ghana development activities”.
A four-point resolution signed by the Presiding Member of the assembly, Mr Desmond Nii Addo Binney, and Mr Sam Ayeh-Datey, the assembly’s Secretary, stated that, “The AMA accepts that the Republic of Ghana Supreme Court’s 13th February, 2008 ruling which said the AMA should pay the amount owed the CCWL, in addition to interests to be calculated on the interest rate and exchange rate at the time the contract was abrogated until the full amount owed CCWL of $6,575,928.52,” it said.
It further stated that “the AMA, at its current financial standing, did not have the financial capacity and capability to pay the debt it owes the CCWL as per the Supreme Court ruling”.
Deputy Attorney-General (A-G) and Minister for Justice, Dr Dominic Ayine had said that “government is determined to resolve the issue.”
He told the Daily Guide newspaper in November “a court ordered the payment of sums of money due CCWL but the AMA raised a number of issues regarding its own shares in the company and then also there are certain issues of taxes due to the state that haven’t been taken into account.
“So while the government was making efforts to resolve those issues…the company entered into execution and that is how come they have started levying execution on properties of the Metropolitan Authority”, he explained.
According to the paper, Dr Ayine was, hopeful that government would be able to resolve the issue amicably.
With the President's intervention, the AMA can now heave a sigh of relief.