10.07.2012 General News

Judgement debt saga; Elvis Ankra calls for overhaul of judiciary

By Ghana|| Nathan Gadugah
Elvis AnkraElvis Ankra
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The Deputy Local Government Minister is calling for a total overhaul of the judicial system to mitigate the seemingly incredulous judgement debt saga.

Elvis Afriyie Ankra said the arbitrariness by government officials; the comedy of errors state prosecutors sometimes exhibit and the strange judgements given by judges on some cases beg for answers.

“I think that we need to look at the AGs department and our courts also need to have the total review of the court system. This cannot go on. We cannot continue like this. Where in the first instance governments abrogate contracts in an arbitrary manner, and then the state institution that are also to prosecute them, they send the cases and seem not to be prepared in some instances and even in instances where they present a very good case, you have some bizarre judgements.

“The whole thing is just murky and we need to have a total review of the entire system," Ankra stated.

He was responding to a possible auction of properties belonging to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly if they fail to pay a judgment debt of six million cedis awarded to City and Country waste management.

The debt was awarded to the waste management company after the erstwhile New Patriotic Party administration abrogated its contract in 2002.

The AMA is seeking the support of government to pay the debt or risk losing its offices and other valuable assets.

Elvis Ankra told Joy News the AMA is in talks with the Attorney General who is finding a way out of a rather sticky situation.

He was however not happy with the increasing negative public sentiment against the Mills administration over judgement debt.

He said rather than blaming the government for the effect of the judgement debt, questions ought to be asked about the cause of those debts.

He was convinced arbitrary decisions by the past government officials in relation to contracts must be blamed for the serial judgement debt.

“It has to do blatant abrogation of contracts without taking steps to mitigate losses to the state in terms of engaging people you have violated their rights and ensuring that you come to some understanding with them.

"These problems were created by the previous administrations."

When he was asked why the said officials have not been prosecuted for their roles in the judgement debt saga, Elvis Afriyie Ankra said some of the court judgement given in favour of these past government officials are to say the least bizarre.

He would not blame the Attorney General for the inefficiencies, except to say that the AG can take ultimate responsibility for the failure of some of the state attorneys but cannot be blamed entirely.

He was however convinced the entire judicial system needs to be purged.

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