Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame

The Office of the Attorney General (A-G) has justified President Akufo-Addo’s assertion that the office has saved the state from paying judgment debts of over GH¢10 trillion.

On February 27, while delivering the 2024 State of the Nation Address in Parliament, President Akufo-Addo said  "The Attorney-General has continued, in a very effective manner, the tradition under this administration of contesting every civil litigation against the state, and has avoided the numerous judgement debts that used to be given against the state. The Office, as a result, has saved the country over ten trillion Ghana cedis (GH¢10 trillion)."

The said savings, the sheer quantum of it, raised questions about how the Attorney General achieved this.

In response to the concerns, the A-G’s office has issued a statement signed by Attorney-General and Minister of Justice himself, Godfred Yeboah Dame dated March 1, listing the various cases involved.

Below are the cases;

Suit No. E3/108/05 - China Jilin International Economic and Technical Cooperation Vrs. The Attorney-General.

The release said on June 2, 2014, the plaintiff obtained judgement against the State. In 2015, the State paid US$223,266 and GH₵56,827.15 towards the judgement debt. In 2022, the plaintiff resumed execution of the judgment debt which was stated as US$988,294,313 (almost 1 billion USD) and GH₵352,626,144.41.

Over GH₵400 million in the accounts of the Ministry of Finance was blocked through an order of garnishee nisi (order for payment of money) granted by the High Court, Kumasi on February 28, 2022.

Also, in Suit  No. J4/23/2014 - NDK Financial Services Ltd Vrs. Ahamaan Enterprises & The Attorney-General

The statement added that on December 21, 2011, the High Court granted judgment against the State for payment of sums claimed by the plaintiff together with interest at the rate of 6.5% per month calculated at the close of each day and payable at the end of every month from January  7, 2009, up to date of final payment.

By 2020, the judgement debt had increased to GH₵1,273,000,000, after the State had already paid GH₵79,000,000. Pursuant to an application by the A-G for an order that the judgement debt was unconscionable and that the amount paid by the State should be considered to be full satisfaction of the judgement debt, the Supreme Court in July 2021, held that the amount outstanding to be paid was only GH₵14,000.

Additionally in Suit No. RPC/345/2007 - African Automobile Ltd Vrs. Ministry of Employment & Manpower Development & The Attorney-General

On July 31, 2009, the High Court granted judgment in favour of the plaintiff and awarded simple interest on the sum claimed. On February 24, 2011, the Court of Appeal awarded interest at the rate of 10% compounded monthly on the sum claimed.

On April 26, 2021, the High Court granted an order for garnishee nisi in the sum of GH₵10,331,841,859,411.20 in favour of the plaintiff. The A-G challenged the order for garnishee nisi which led to the plaintiff drastically revising its claim to GH₵3,615,826,184,388.24 which the High Court confirmed.

The A-G said it was dissatisfied with the verdict hence on June 19, 2023, instituted a fresh action against the judgement creditor to set aside the entire judgment against the State - SUIT No. GJ/0956/23. The A-G contended that the plaintiff’s legitimate claim was in the sum of GH₵28,000 which has been paid.

Again in Cassius Mining Ltd Vrs. Government of the Republic of Ghana (International arbitration)

The Claimant on February 3, 2023, commenced international arbitration against the State for failing to extend the term of its Prospecting Licence Agreement dated December 28, 2016, and claimed compensation over US$275 million

Further in Beijing Everyway Traffic & Lighting Vrs. Government of Ghana (arbitration at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague)

The Claimant dragged the nation to the Permanent Court of Arbitration for over $60 million for breach of contract. Following an objection raised by the Attorney-General, the PCA dismissed the claim on January 30, 2023.

Also, in Suit No. C1/34/19 Heritage Imperial Ltd Vrs. Ministry 4 of Lands and Natural Resources & The Attorney-General

The plaintiff obtained judgement for US$15,304,714.20 in July 2020 for the seizure and destruction of its mining equipment. In July 2021, the High Court set aside the entire judgement for violating various statutory provisions pursuant to an application by the A-G.

Suit No. RPC/344/2007 African Automobile Ltd Vrs. Accra Metropolitan Assembly & The Attorney-General The claimant obtained judgement in 2009 and proceeded to obtain a garnishee nisi order for the sum of GH₵592,092,705,048.00 in February 2020. The Attorney-General said it commenced an action at the High Court to set aside the judgement for fraud. Pending the determination, the court has stayed the execution of the judgement.

Finally in David Akpasera & 42 Ors Vrs. The Attorney-General

An action by former members of Parliament and Ministers of State for payment of retirement benefits of over GH₵100 million was dismissed by the High Court in 2020. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal in May 2022.

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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.