On July 12, 2019, then Mion MP, Mohammed Abdul-Aziz, asked the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta how much government has paid in Judgment debt From January 2017 to date.

MP for Ajumako Enyan-Esiam Constituency posed the question on his behalf.

Mr Ofori Atta told the House a total of GH¢283 million.

“Mr Speaker, in a nutshell, we have paid about 42 per cent of the outstanding averaging about GH¢95 million each year in the past two and a half years.

Mr Forson: Mr Speaker, the Question was for the Hon Minister to give us the exact amount that has been paid from 2017 to date. In his Answer, he said that they have paid approximately GH¢95 million yearly. Could the Hon Minister specifically tell us how much they paid for the years 2017, 2018 and so far, 2019?

That was the spirit of the question.

Mr Ofori-Atta: Mr Speaker, I do not have the breakdown but the to-date payment, as I mentioned, is GH¢283,256,267.”

The issue of Judgment debt payments was a thorny matter prior to the 2016 Presidential Polls.

The NPP accused the NDC of making dubious payments.

It, therefore, came as no surprise that the subject found expression in the NPP’s 2016 Manifesto.

Page 134, point (f) provided as follows;

“(f) payments of dubious judgment debts and questionable settlements.”

Did Ken Ofori-Atta mislead Parliament on Judgment debt payments?

This was under the broad theme of “Current state of Public Accountability”. The Party promised as follows:

“The NPP will fight corruption head-on through preventive, detective, corrective and punitive actions. Our anti-corruption policy will be based on three key pillars: institutional reform, legislative reform, and attitudinal change/public education.”

The NPP has since taken over Government and JoyNews has been tracking the thorny issue of judgment debts.

A Right to Information request was first sent to the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

The Office responded that the appropriate place to obtain this information is the Finance Ministry.

A subsequent request was therefore sent to the Finance Ministry where the Information was provided

The Information reveals that Government has since 2017 paid Judgment debts totaling ¢125 million.

This is lower than the GH¢283 million figure Mr. Ofori Atta provided to Parliament in 2019. Mr. Ofori Atta had equally claimed, payments had averaged about 94 million cedis yearly.

The detailed figures provided to JoyNews tell a different story.

In 2017 total payments was GH¢54 million. The payment as at end of 2018 was GH¢35 million while that of 2019 stood at GH¢13.9 million.

This comes to a total of GH¢102.9 million. Nowhere near the GH¢283 million figure the Minister reported in July 2019.

The Cumulative total as at 2022 stands at GH¢125 million.

This begs the question, did the Minister mislead Parliament or is the Information provided by the Ministry inaccurate?

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.