General News of Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Source: GNA

Over €85 million judgment debt paid to CP

The government between 1992 and 2012 paid judgement debts of over €85 million to Construction Pioneers (CP).

This is in addition to a judgment debt payment of £7.3 million made within the same period.

The said payments were as a result of the settlement of disputes and judgment debts between CP and the Government of Ghana over construction works.

Mr. Eric Kweku Hammond, Chief Manager of the Banking Department of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) said this when he testified before the Judgment Debt Commission on Tuesday.

He said the payments were made based on directives from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD).

On the payment of judgment debt to Delta Foods Limited, Mr. Hammond told the Commission that on November 24, 1999, BoG received a letter from the CAGD directing them to transfer an amount of ? 20.3 billion into the Judicial Service Deposit Account as payment for judgment debt to the company.

He said on March 10, 2000, BoG received another letter from the Judicial Service instructing them to transfer the said amount into the account of Delta Foods Ltd, which was effected on March 15, 2000.

He said based on another court ruling from the United States (US) on the same case, the CAGD again asked BoG to make an offshore payment of $4.9 million to Delta Foods Ltd, which was paid in two batches of $2.5 million and $2.4 million.

Mr. Justice Yaw Apau, Sole Commissioner of the Judgment Debt Commission said the additional payment of $4.9 million dollars was incurred by the state when it delayed in honouring the ?20.3 billion which compelled Delta Foods Ltd to take legal action against Ghana in the US to enforce the Ghana court's ruling.

Mr. Kofi Dometi Sokpor, Counsel for the Commission wanted to know from the BoG Chief Manager if per chance they came across the reliefs from the courts concerning the matter, to which Mr. Hammond answered in the negative.

The Counsel recounted that Delta Foods Ltd imported some grains from the US upon the request of the Government of Ghana, but somewhere along the line the state defaulted in honouring its part of the agreement, which led to the company taking legal action against Ghana.

Also at the Commission’s sitting was Professor Bruce Banoeng-Yakubo, Chief Director of the Ministry of Lands and Forestry to answer questions on the payment of compensations to land owners of Kete Krachi, Makango and Paso, due to the flooding of Volta Lake following the Construction of the Akosombo Dam.

The Commission has adjourned sitting to today, Wednesday June 25