There have been calls for a high-powered commission to probe judgment debts as part of steps to find a solution to what some critics say is the daylight rape of the state especially by high public office holders in the guise judgment debts.
But it appears the country’s judges have already recommended what could be a most effective means to stop the drain on the economy.
At three different levels of the courts – from the High Court in 2008, to the Court of Appeal in 2010 and finally to the Supreme Court in 2011, the judges variously castigated managers of TOR for recklessly breaching a 2002 contract with African Automobile Limited to supply marine mix for the manufacture of pre-mix fuel for using by fishing outboard motors.
Joy News Editor Samson Lardy Ayenini who is privy to the judgments explained AAL were to make four deliveries of marine mix of 600,000 litres to TOR.
They made three deliveries all of which were paid for but could not make the fourth because the then MD of TOR, KK Sarpong wanted to vary the agreed price for each litre of marine mix, a proposition rejected by AAL.
After failing to settle the matter amicably, AAL proceeded to court in 2008 and got a judgment of €945,000 in their favour at the High Court, Lardy Ayenini stated.
The judgment was appealed by the Attorney General which got the amount reduced by nearly €500,000.
Not completely satisfied with the Appeals Court decision, the Attorney General again proceeded to the Supreme Court to attempt to set aside the verdicts by the lower courts but the highest court upheld the decision by the Appeals Court.
On review the Supreme Court again upheld its earlier decision and recommended that TOR and its top managers be condemned.
“…Indeed, if businesses are to be conducted as was done by the defendant company, TOR in this case, then all businesses will collapse and ran into serious debt.
“We believe the time has indeed come for state officials to be surcharged with such colossal losses if it can be established, as it has, in this case that the losses were occasioned by their recklessness,” Lardy Ayenini read portions of the judgment as saying.
Executive Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative, Vitus Azeem said we must go beyond surcharging these reckless public officers and prosecute them.
“I think people need to be prosecuted; people need to be fired; people need to be resigning voluntarily as a result of these revelations.
He said it is way too much for Ghanaians to tolerate especially when there are so many challenges the country has to contend with.
Vitus Azeem said the government can take administrative measures and appropriate action to stop this embarrassing saga of judgment debts.