n Paid £4million to CP in judgement debt
n Paid £1.5million to foreign lawyers in CP case they lost
n Ordered by court to pay $3.55million to CALF cocoa
n Ordered by court to pay $87million in Rockshell case
n Allowed judgement debt to increase from GH¢50,279.96 to GH¢6million
n Allowed judgement debt to CCWL to increase from $12million to $29million
n Left debt of $581,333 & 50,778 in legal fees
Archival search conducted by the Daily Post reveals that through sheer vindictiveness, the colossal amount of money ex-President Kufuor and his cronies caused the state to lose is enough to choke a stubborn elephant to death.
From illegally abrogating contracts won by corporate entities to refusing to pay judgement debts incurred after they have been dragged to court as a result, Mr. Kufuor, his Attorney-Generals Nana Akufo-Addo and Joe Ghartey as well as other members of his cabinet caused the nation to lose monies running into trillions of cedis which could have been used to provide the populace with potable drinking water, schools, hospitals and other social amenities.
In some cases, they did not only lose cases at international courts for illegally abrogating contracts but also ended up paying as much as €1.5 million to the solicitors they hired.
Dismayed and appalled at the arrogance, vindictiveness and the colossal amount of monies that the state was losing as a result of the judgement debts, a judge, after awarding cost against the state in a case had this to say;
“It is sad to say the least that Public Officials who are entrusted with the public good and who are expected to act in utmost good faith will so create a situation which will result in creating financial loss situations in the country.”
The judge's pain is understandable when a cursory study of how some of the judgment debts came to be incurred is conducted.
Illegally abrogating contracts
*CP vrs AG: Construction and Engineering firm, CP, dragged the NPP government to court in 2001 for abrogating four contracts it was executing. Kufuor and his cronies refused to make payment until CP obtained an enforcement order of the arbitral award. The NPP Government was forced to settle to the tune of £4,000,000.00 (Four million pounds).
* Calf Cocoa v Attorney General: In this case, Calf Cocoa, a joint Ghanaian-Chinese venture dragged the NPP government to court for refusing to honour an agreement between the Government of Ghana and Calf Cocoa for the payment of US$1,800,000.00 as working capital, after the construction of the cocoa processing factory. In addition to the amount of US$1,800,000.00 claimed by the company, the Government of Ghana was ordered by the court in its ruling to pay an additional sum of US$1,750,000.00 towards rehabilitating the factory, together with interest.
· City and Country Waste Limited (CCWL) Vrs AMA: CCWL sued the AMA for abrogation of a contract signed in 1997 after the AMA refused to pay it an amount of $10 million it owed it. The court ruled in favour of CCWL and an awarded to CCWL the sum of over US$12,000,000.00 inclusive of interests and all.
HOW much more refusing to pay judgemnet debt caused the state
Instead of negotiating paying judgment debts quickly or negotiating terms of payment, Kufuor and his cronies simply refused to pay. The result was that interest accrued so much that in some cases, by the time the NDC returned to power, the state owed some of the companies which had dragged it to court more than twice the amount the court had ordered the state to pay. A few of the examples include;
CCWL Vrs AMA: The $12,000,000 (12 million dollars)judgment debt awarded against the state rose to $29,000,000 (29 million dollars) by 2009 because Kufuor and his cronies refused to pay the initial amounts. AMA appealed to the Court of Appeal and lost. It then appealed to the Supreme Court.
In a judgment delivered in February 2008, the Supreme Court did not only agree with the High Court and Court of Appeal, but further awarded to CCWL interest from July 2001 until the date of the final payment of the judgment debt.
If the matter had been settled even after the judgment of the High Court or the Court of Appeal this kind of debt would have been avoided. This is another case of bad governance
MONEY WASTED ON SOLICITORS :
(i) US $581, 333.00 and £50, 778.37 is outstanding in respect of legal fees owed Ghana's foreign solicitors who handled the CP matter on the country's behalf. Ghana lost that case and coughed out $4 million to CP.
(ii) Under the NPP government, a foreign solicitor hired by the state involving the State and a foreign investor used to be paid £100,000. This is a case of bad governance. By March 2009, Ghana had paid almost £1.5 million to the foreign lawyers handling a case between the GOG and an automobile company.
Of course, Mr. Kufuor couldn't care less about the colossal amount of money the state was losing in so far as he was killing businesses owned by people perceived to be friendly towards the NDC and especially as he was making so much money from kickbacks.
Sadly, thanks to Martin Amidu, the docile Attorney-General, Kufuor will soon be a free man who can no longer be brought to book from January 7, 2012 as it will mark the end of the three years period during which time legal action can be taken against him for any act of financial malfeasance which resulted in financial loss to the state.