General News of Friday, 13 July 2012

Source: XYZ

Judgement Debt: AMA should've listened to Betty's wise counsel - Ato Dadzie

Former Chief of Staff and counsel for Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Nana Ato Dadzie, has waded into the judgment debt controversy between the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the city and waste country limited.

Commending his client for her legal ingenuity in handling some of the judgement debt cases, Nana Ato Dadzie disclosed that the assembly could have averted the GHS 41 million judgment debt if it had listened to sound legal counsel offered by Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu while she was Attorney General.

An Accra High Court has ordered the auctioning of some properties of the assembly to offset the debt owed the waste company after their contract with the assembly was illegally terminated by the Kufuor administration.

Nana Ato Dadzie made these comments at press conference on Thursday after leading a team of lawyers to accompany the former A-G to the Public Accounts Committee on the Construction Pioneers (CP) judgement debt case.

Barring any intervention by the government, seven properties belonging to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) will be put up for auction soon.

The properties include offices of the AMA at No.1 Asafoatse Nettey Road and the official residence of its chief executive.

The others are No. 6, 7th Avenue, Ridge, Bungalow No. 4, 7th Avenue Close, occupied, No. 5, 7th Avenue Close, No. 3, 7th Avenue Close (Main Block), and No. 2, 8th Avenue (Main block).

The intended sale of the properties follows notices of auction placed on the said 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.

Nana Ato Dadzie told the media that when AMA was advised to settle the matter by then A-G, Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu, they insisted on going to court to obtain a favourable judgement.

According to Nana Ato Dadzie, when the amount was just about GHS 13 million the AMA “went back to court and they lost. City and Country Waste have entered judgement for 46-47 million dollars or so.”

He said if the AMA had gone ahead to settle the case, there would not have been this albatross hanging over the properties of the assembly, saying “now they have to pay about 47 million dollars.”**