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General News of Monday, 28 November 2016


$1bn Judgement debt saga: Gov't’s claims false – NPP

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has denied claims by the government that its 2016 flag bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, conspired with Great Cape Company Limited to attempt to hoodwink the state into paying $1billion as judgment debt to the firm.

Speaking on 12Live on Class91.3FM on Monday, 28 November, the NPP’s Director of Communications, Nana Akomea, said Mr Akufo-Addo was not the Attorney General who gave the green light for Great Cape to be paid the judgment debt, but the NDC’s Dr Yao Obed Asamoah, who was Attorney General at the time.

“Great Cape never came up during Akufo-Addo’s time; it came up during the NDC’s time. The Attorney General at that time was Obed Asamoah. It was Obed Asamoah who recommended that such payments be made to the company called Great Cape. This happened before Akufo-Addo became Attorney General, so when the matter came before him, he looked at the work that had been done in the files in the Attorney General’s office,” Nana Akomea explained.

He wondered why the NDC would accuse Nana Akufo-Addo of conspiracy when no money has been paid to the firm since they filed for the judgment debt.

“Now, if government genuinely believes that Akufo-Addo colluded like they colluded with Mr Woyome to rob this country of unjustified judgment debts, why haven’t they brought him to prosecution or even investigated the matter?” he quizzed.

Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications, during a Meet The Press series in Accra on Monday accused the NPP flag bearer of the connivance.

Dr Omane 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 Omane 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?”