Commissioner blames AG, others for huge judgment debt
Justice Yaw Appau, Sole Commissioner for Judgment Debts, has said lapses in the Attorney-General’s (AG) Department and laxity of public officers to effectively prosecute cases, were to blame for payment of huge judgment debts.
He said the AG Department and some public officers at times “downplay certain serious matters” leading to government paying many judgment debts to individuals and companies.
The Sole Commissioner said this when a representative of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP), appeared before him on Wednesday.
He said there were several cases supported with enough facts to put up credible defence, but usually nothing happened, and the trial courts accordingly ordered government to pay compensations to the aggrieved persons.
Public officers, Justice Yaw Appau said usually failed to appear in courts to testify in cases or make appeal even there were enough grounds of making that appeal.
He noted that if the AG Department and the public officers were to do due diligence, government could save a lot of money and development projects while workers could also think of enhanced salaries.
Mr Anthony Kokroko, Legal Officer at the Ghana Police Service, was there to respond to payments of GH¢4,500 to Mr Samuel Adjei, a taxi owner as well as GH¢12,000 to Lance Corporal Baba Bakari as judgment debt in 2006.
The taxi, which was involved in an accident, was auctioned by the Police at GH¢20, and the aggrieved owner sued the IGP and the AG, and won, said Mr Kokroko.
He also said Lance Corporal Baba Bakari, who was dismissed after a Police Service Enquiry found him guilty of “vacating post without enough bases,” also pursued the case in court and won.
However, Mr Kokroko explained that the Police acted in accordance with the constitution and the various acts and Legislative Instruments governing the Police Service.
He observed there were some “absurdity and inconsistencies” in some of the Acts and Legislative Instruments, which created leeway for aggrieved parties.
But, Justice Appau said those inconsistencies could be amended if the Police collaborate with the AG’s Department.
Major Mahama Samuel Tara, Chief Director of the MoFEP, confirmed to the Commission that over $159,000 was paid to Messrs Dewey and Leboeuf on maritime boundary matters.