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    AG Justifies GH₵10tn Judgement Debt Savings

    The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, yesterday provided evidence to show that his Office indeed saved Ghana from paying over GH¢10 trillion in judgement debts.

    Mr. Dame disclosed that the figure mentioned by the President was even an understatement because his office had actually saved the country about GH¢15 trillion in judgement debts claimed by various entities against the government.

    Document sighted by DAILY GUIDE clearly show that a company named African Automobile Limited alone instituted a case against the Ministry of Employment and the Attorney General which sought a judgement debt of over GH¢10.3 trillion against the state 2021.

    President Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 during his State of the Nation Address in Parliament extolled the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, for continuing 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 GH¢10 trillion,” he disclosed and attracted jeers from some Members of Parliament.

    The President’s statement had many asking questions about how one office was able to save that much money, and whether the state has that much money to pay as judgement debt in the first place.

    But to the Attorney General, it does not matter how much money an individual or an entity has in the bank for a financial claim to be made against it.

    “If a person wants to make a claim he or she will not go and check your bank account to see how much money you have there before instituting the action against you,” Mr. Dame simplified.

    AG’s Proof

    Mr. Dame, in presenting evidence to show how his Office had saved the country these unbearable sums as judgement debts, pointed to an order for garnishee signed by Justice Emmanuel K. Mensah which awarded a judgment debt of ten trillion, 331 billion, 841 million, 859 thousand 411 Ghana Cedis and 20 pesewas against the state in favour of African Automobile Limited.

    Mr. Dame pointed out that this debt was accrued between 2009 and 2011 and at the time was just a little over GH¢900,000 but shot up to GH¢10,331,841,859,411.20 as a result of the compound interest components of the contracts.

    The Office of the Attorney General contested the grant of the judgement debt, first on ground that the decision of the Court of Appeal was procured by fraud and misrepresentation.

    This is one of the main reasons why his Office placed before Parliament a bill to abolish compound interests which have over the years ballooned the judgement debts.

    Per the new law, all government employees can only enter into agreements on simple interest and not on compound interests.

    Mr. Dame’s second evidence is another over GH¢500 billion claim made by the same African Automobile Limited against the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Attorney General which sought a judgement debt of a total of GH¢582,001,748,751.00 against the state.

    In all these cases, the bank accounts of the affected state institutions were initially garnisheed, but the Attorney General was able to successfully reverse the garnishee order and in most cases completely dealt with the claims and got the cases dismissed.

    Another evidence by Mr. Dame has to do with another judgement debt claim made by China Jilin International Economic and Technical Corporation against Ministry of Roads and Transport as well as the Attorney General.

    The company had claimed a total of GH¢352,626,144.41 and another $988,294,313 against the state as judgement debt, but this was reversed by the Attorney General.

    Aside these, the Attorney General has saved the country billions of Ghana Cedis in some famous cases, including the NDK Financial Services case in which he saved the country from paying a whopping GH¢1,297,985,310.26 as outstanding judgement debt to NDK Financial Services.

    The AG had contended that as far as the government was concerned, it has already complied with the judgement of the Supreme Court, but NDK continued to make ‘unsubstantiated’ claims for more money.

    The Supreme Court on June 2, 2021, in its judgement held that government still owed only GH¢14,689.75 as outstanding debt with interest at the prevailing rate, starting from November 14, 2014, to the day of final payment.

    And then there are international arbitrations in which the Attorney General has saved the country $300, $60 million and $15.7 million in another.

    Putting all these together, Mr. Dame was convinced he was within his right to have informed the President that his Office has saved the nation over GH¢10 trillion in judgement debts.

    He concluded that the issuance of judgement debts, in his opinion, has become a conduit for milking the state and it is one of the reasons he placed a bill before Parliament to abolish compound interest in contracts entered by state institutions.


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