General News of Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Source: Joy Online

Judgment Debt Commission begins public hearings

The commission of inquiry set up to investigate questionable judgment debts paid to various individuals and organizations on Wednesday started its public hearings.

President Mahama last October, swore in Justice of the Court of Appeal, Yaw Appau, as Sole Commissioner to probe the payments which have dominated public discussion with some alleging official collusion to dupe the state of the huge sums of money.

Some legal practitioners have raised issues suggesting the commission may not be able to inquire into controversial payments such as the Ghc 51 million to businessman Alfred Woyome, which is already pending in court.

The Committee which has one year to submit its report to the Presidency, will meet at the Conference Room of the Old Parliament House in Accra, from 10am to 4.00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

It has as its terms of reference, to ascertain the causes of any inordinate payments made from public funds in satisfaction of judgment debts since the 1992 Constitution came into force.

The Commission will also ascertain the causes of any ordinate payment from public funds and financial losses arising from arbitration awards and negotiated settlements since 1992.

The Commission will make recommendation to help ensure that government does not incur undue financial losses when it does business with private persons or institutions.

The Commission is appealing to persons who intend to testify or volunteer information to submit memoranda to the Commission.