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General News of Thursday, 12 July 2012

Source: XYZ

Betty Mould-Iddrisu: I take full responsibility for CP payment

The Former Attorney General and Minister for Justice Betty Mould Iddrisu has slammed the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in terse pointblank terms that the Chairman and some members of the committee had been grossly biased and unfair to her as far as the hearing on the CP judgment debt affair is concerned.

She accused Chairman, Albert Kan Dapaah, and member, Isaac Asiamah, of deliberately running her down and bringing her reputation and integrity into disrepute through their utterances and insinuation at the hearing.

Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu, who was accompanied by her legal team made up of Nana Ato Dadzie, Alhaji Hudu Yahya among others, was answering questions on how she settled a judgment debt of 94 million Euros to CP.

According to the peeved former Attorney General, her rights have been trampled upon, which she vehemently protested.

“Honorable chair, I put it to you that you have sat by and indeed at times participated and allowed my right to be trampled upon in this manner”.

Madam Betty Mould Iddrisu named Hon. Isaac Asiamah as one of the individuals who have subjected her to some criminal insinuations.

According to her, Hon. Isaac Asiamah stated on live television that “she had conspired with CP to fraudulently pay to defraud the good people of Ghana. I heard this. With the greatest of respect these are criminal insinuations on the character of a former A-G.”.

Madam Mould-Iddrisu also told the committee that her settlement of the judgment debt slapped against Ghana was a duty imposed on her by the constitution as Attorney General.

Taking Responsibility

According to Mrs. Betty-Mould Iddrisu, the decision to settle the matter was taken as a result of the powers conferred on her by Article 88 of the 1992 Republican Constitution and that she takes full responsibility for the settlement reached in the negotiation process.

She said even though she was not under any obligation to obtain executive approval to commence negotiation into the matter, she sought the consent of the executive before going ahead with the negotiation.

When asked whether she referred the final settlement agreement of 80 million Euros to the executive, Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu stated that because the A-G is not responsible for the payment, the question should be directed to the Ministry of Finance which took charge of the payment.

She further debunked the allegations that she failed to consult the various ministries, which had a role to play in the CP arbitration process, stressing that she has tendered in documents to prove that officials from the Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning and the Roads and Highways were consulted as and when it became necessary during the process of arbitration.

Saving Extra Cost

Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu said she beat down the initial 162 million Euros being requested by the CP Construction firm to 80 million Euros, a situation that saved the country lots of money.

She said apart from the 80 million Euros paid to CP over two and half years, the government was compelled to pay an amount of 14 million Euros considered as the condition precedent before CP officials will engage the Ghanaian officials.

Prior to that, Mrs Mould-Iddrisu indicated that her predecessor , Hon. Joe Ghartey also paid an initial amount of 7 million Euros to CP, bringing the total amount paid to CP to 101 million Euros.

She said but for the role that she played in bringing the CP officials to the table again, Ghana would have paid 162 million Euros plus the accruing interest that was frozen as part of the negotiation.

She averred that the arbitration court’s ruling was binding and government did not have a choice in the matter after the government had showed bad faith in the past.

Mrs Mould-Iddrisu added that this is the price the country had to be pay for neglecting its obligations.**