13.07.2012 General News

Decisions On Judgement Debts Lesson For All

By Daily Graphic
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The Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, says current discussions on judgement debts must serve as a lesson to successive governments during the process of terminating contracts and transactions.

According to him, most of the judgement debts the NDC government was saddled with were caused by the previous NPP government.

“After the NPP came to power in 2001, there were several contracts with many companies for all kinds of services that they abrogated,” he said. “These were international, foreign and local companies and they went to court and so we come to power and there is crystallisation of many of those debts.”

Speaking on the Voice of America’s Straight Talk Africa hosted by Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, Mr Mahama said the decision by the Cabinet to fix a new ceiling on judgement debts paid by the Attorney-General would help reduce the losses.

According to him, “previously, we had no rules by which the Attorney-General operated, so he used his discretion to decide which case to pursue in court or settle. But the lesson we have learnt is that you don’t need to leave this discretion to one person'.

Mr Mahama also rebuffed criticisms that the government was not committed to fighting corruption.

He described the accusations as “unfair” and “damaging”, especially when those criticisms were coming from within the NDC.

Former President J.J. Rawlings has incessantly accused the NDC government, under President Mills, of aiding and abetting corruption.

Mr Rawlings insists that the government has done very little in prosecuting alleged corrupt former officials under the NPP regime.

But Mr Mahama said many of the allegations were unfair.

According to him, the government had dealt decisively with corruption allegations.

“All cases that have been investigated and for which we think there is a prima facie case we have packaged and sent to the court.'

“There are other cases that are currently before the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and when those dockets are ready, they will be sent to court and the Judiciary will determine if such persons are guilty or not,” he said.

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