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17.11.2005 General News

Attorney-General ordered to pay cost from his pocket

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Accra, Nov. 17, GNA - An Accra Fast Track High Court on Thursday ordered Mr Ayikoi Otoo, Minister of Justice and the Attorney - General, to pay 500,000 cedis as costs to the 31st December Women's Movement from his pocket.

The cost was awarded against the Attorney - General in a case in which the 31st December Women's Movement and National Vocational Training Institute are seeking a declaration on who is the lawful owner of two institutions.

The two institutions are Kanda Care Training Centre in Nima and New Century Training Centre at Dansoman, both in Accra.

The 31st December Women's Movement is seeking judgement in default of the Attorney - General's ability to file its defence.

Nii Agyei Boi Sekan, who represented the Movement, said he had been given the authority to proceed on the matter.

When the case was called, an Attorney from the Attorney - General's Department told the court that the Department had sent a letter to the Court and wanted to find out whether the court was aware.

The Court said it had not seen the letter and enquired from the Attorney what the said letter contained.

The Attorney said the A-G was seeking an adjournment because the Attorney assigned to the case was indisposed.

The Court then proceeded to award the costs and asked that the money should be paid from the pocket of the A-G.

In the substantive suit, the Movement is seeking an order compelling NVTI to hand over to it forthwith the management and administration of the Kanda Care Training Centre and New Century Training Centre.

It is seeking an order directing the NVTI to account to the Movement (plaintiff) for the period of its administration and management of the two institutions.

The Movement is further seeking damages for trespass, cost and other relief.

The statement of claim of the Movement says it is a non-governmental organisation established under the laws of Ghana with the objective of providing social services to deprived areas, financing and running community projects.

The NVTI on its part was established under the NVTI Training Act of 1970 (Act 351) to organise, develop and run vocational courses and train instructors and trainers, among other things.

In pursuance to its objectives, the Movement in collaboration with the Dutch Government and the Send Schools to Children of the World (SESSCO), an NGO in Japan, and other benevolent institutions constructed a vocational school at Nima in Accra.

Upon completion of the school structure, the Movement wrote a letter requesting the assistance of the NVTI to advise and assist it to create a vocational curriculum and formulate guidelines on courses to be offered.

The Movement further entered into agreement with China Hainan Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation, a Chinese government-nominated corporation for the construction of a vocational training Institute at Dansoman.

Around August 2004, the Movement instructed its auditors to carry out audits of the two institutions but Mr George Yevu, Acting Director of NVTI, directed the managers of the institutions not to permit the Movement's auditors to conduct the audit.

In response to a letter written by the Movement's solicitor in March 2005, the NVTI directed the Movement to seek permission from the Auditor - General before carrying out the audit.

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