Friday, August 29, 2014


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By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, August 29, 2014

The Commission of Enquiry investigating the payment of judgement debts has commenced the interrogation of people who put in claims to collect huge sums in respect of the Volta Basin Flooded Area following the construction of the Akosombo Dam in the 1960s.

Cabinet in July 2008 approved a consolidated amount of compensation totaling GH¢138million for various stools/families in Pai, Apaaso, Makango, Ahmandi and Kete Krachi Traditional Areas and about 57 groups were said to have benefited from the amount.

However, when the first batch of prospective witnesses testified before the commission yesterday, it was clear some of the payments appeared to have been made under suspicious circumstances.

It was an interesting sight when Sole-Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau of the Court of Appeal assisted by Dometi Kofi Sorkpor, counsel for the commission took turns to grill the witnesses.

Nchunea Clan
The first to appear was Jacob Bewah Donkor, who said he represented the Nchunea Clan from the Krachi Traditional Area where a total of about GH¢2.1million was released to him in tranches.

Flanked by his counsel Kwame Yankyera, the witness claimed the submerged portion of the Volta Lake measuring 49,792.7 acres belonged to the clan and he had the power of attorney to represent them at the Lands Commission.

No Date
He then tendered in evidence a site plan but there was no date on when it was prepared and could also not present the original plan out of which the exhibit he tendered was prepared from.

Interestingly, the witness claimed he was representing the Nchunea Clan but the site plan based on which the amount was released had the names of himself and one Bob Yaw as owning the entire land and not the clan.

When asked by the Sole-Commissioner to explain the anomaly, Jacob Bewah Donkor said “we were only given a letter that we should represent them.”

Wrong Claim
Justice Apau pointed it out to him that it was wrong for the witness to claim that he collected the money in the name of the clan when there was documentary evidence to show that the land was in his name saying “if you say you clan nominated you why don’t you have the clan’s name on the plan.”

The commission also pointed it out to the witness that the document he presented for the money to be released had kept changing the acreage of the land from 49,792.7, 45,000 and finally to 40,000 but the witness replied that it was an arrangement between the families but the Commissioner said it was irregular.

Questionable Documents
Justice Apau then remarked that “the documents before the commission clearly shows that some of these claimants submitted questionable documents and got money,” but Lawyer Yankyera insisted that “they have never acted in anyway to show they fraudulently took the money.”

The witness then admitted that his clan was resettled by the government during the flooding in the 1960s and the commission made it clear that their instant claim was in contravention of the Volta River Development Act, Act 46.

Kianan & Kono Clans
Kwame Gyane and Jacob Bia from the Kianan and Kono clans respectively also testified and claimed they were given a power of attorney to chase the compensation.

It emerged that the Kianan Clan claimed a land size of 6860.69 acres while Kono Clan had 13,333.69 bringing the total to 20,194.58 acres.

The site plan was in the name of three persons Nana Abiam Danso, Kofi Mensah Dometi and Martin Kwabena Tawiah yet they made the claim in the name of Kianan, Kono of Krachi.

Kwame Gyane admitted that he collected the money in four tranches from 2009 to 2013 and it totaled GH¢1.717million even though Justice Apau said that official documents showed the witness collected less than he was paid.

The commission also made it clear to the witnesses that the Cabinet’s letter did not even mention Kianan and Kono clans and that the clans were resettled under the programmed when the Dam was built and could not have turned around to make claim cash compensation five decades down the lane.

Pepetia Clan
Nana Kpakore aka Mr. Mambo who claims to be the Regent of Kakwagya Stool and double as the Zonal Coordinator of NADMO in the area also testified.

He said he represented the Pepetia Clan to claim 3000 acres adding that he collected GH¢159,000 in four tranches as compensation.

He said his clan was never settled when the dam was constructed adding “we resettled ourselves at Grubi.”


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By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, July 29, 2014

The Supreme Court has ordered Silver Star Auto Limited to deliver a brand new Mercedes Ben (E Class) to G.A. Sarpong & Co, a firm of legal practitioners and consulted headed by former Law School boss George A. Sarpong.

The five-member panel presided over by Justice Julius Ansah held that G.A. Sarpong & Co had been able to discharge the burden of proof that the vehicle it bought from Silver Star Auto Limited has latent defects and deserved to be replaced.

The case which started in 2009 at an Accra Commercial Court was filed by the law firm after a brand new Mercedes Benz (C-Class 180) it bought from the car dealer in 2007 had broken down suddenly in May 2008 and was replaced with another E-Class with registration GN 2266 Y at the cost of 15,000 Euros which again broke down in December that same year.

The plaintiff therefore claimed among others things, a brand new E-Class as replacement or a refund of the purchase price of the vehicle as well as compensation for loss of use of the vehicles and damages for breach of condition/deceit.

Silver Star Auto Limited in its amended statement of defence filed on October 19, 2009, the respondent had denied the plaintiff’s claims and insisted that the cause of the accident was attributable to the May 20098 incident.

They argued that G.A. Sarpong & Co was not entitled to any claim as endorsed in the Writ of Summons and had urged the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s suit.

However, after full trial, the Commercial Court held that G.A. Sarpong & Co was entitled to a delivery of a brand new E-Class as replacement for the damaged car but refused to grant the claim for compensation for loss of use of the vehicles and damages for breach of condition/deceit.

Not satisfied, Silver Star Auto Limited appealed against the decision at the Court of Appeal and succeeded in getting the appellate court to review the High Court’s decision by ordering the car dealer to only replace the damaged engine for G.A. Sarpong & Co and not the whole car.

G.A. Sarpong & Co got incensed and petitioned the Supreme Court on the grounds that the Court of Appeal had erred in holding that they were not entitled to a brand-new E-Class.

The panel which included Justices Rose Owusu, K. Anin Yeboah, P. Baffoe Bonnie and J.B. Akamba, took their time to review the matter by going into the latent manufacturer’s defect, whether there was latent defects in the vehicle as well as whether there was a breach of the Sale of Goods Act, 1962.

The panel also considered the fundamental obligation of the seller and the issue of quality and fitness of goods.

The highest court held that both the trial and appellate courts had agreed on the type of breach of contract as a condition between the parties after G.A. Sarpong & Co was able to discharge its burden of proof.

“It is settled law that an appellate court ought not to disturb concurrent findings of fact by two lower courts unless the findings were perverse. 

Where the Court of Appeal agreed with the lower court that the breach was not of a trivial nature, it could only vary the award of damages where it was manifestly perverse,” the court said, adding “where they have not found any legal basis for altering the damages awarded by the court of first instance, it was not open to the Court of Appeal to vary the damages awarded.”

The court disagreed with the Court of Appeal’s posture changing the award had resulted “invariably in finding that the non-propulsion of the car did not go to the root of the contract.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


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By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Confiscated Assets Committee has denied knowledge of the confiscation of two wood processing companies in which a whooping ¢34billion (GHC3.4million) was paid to the owner as compensation.

Records at the Commission of Enquiry investigating the payment of judgement debt indicated that Nana Emmanuel Duke Woode was paid the amount in 2006 after he got a default judgement for the confiscation confiscation of his companies by the government in the heat of the revolution in 1982.

The companies: Holex Ghana Limited and Priorities Ghana Limited all located at Akim Oda were said to have been respectively seized by the Jerry Rawlings-led military junta after the overthrow of a constitutionally elected government.

The Attorney General’s Department has also testified that it still cannot trace documents document indicating payment even though the Accountant General’s Department authorized the Bank of Ghana to release ¢34,758,343,331 to the claimant.

Asikkua Agambila, Executive Secretary of Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) has already testified that the DIC had no idea about the transaction saying “the two companies have never been a subject for divestiture.”

“We would think that at the time that the companies were confiscated in those circumstances, it is most likely they would have been handed over to the Confiscated Assets Committee located at the Castle and not to the DIC,” Mr. Agambila had explained.

Yesterday, J.K. Mensah a Chief Investigator in charge of confiscated assets at the Office of the President appeared before the commission and said he had never heard about Holex Ghana Limited and Priorities Ghana Limited.

“I have been working on the committee since 1982 and for the years I have been there, we have never had any of such properties as confiscated to the state,” he told Sole-Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau.

He however, said he was aware of the Subin Timbers case in which the commission has already heard how the owner’s adopted son managed to get a deconfiscation order and took possession in spite of company being divested to an investor.

Mr. Mensah also gave a brief history of confiscations in the country saying “anytime we investigate the issues we send our recommendations to the President and how the final decision is taken, we are not in a position to know.”

He said the petitions for deconfiscation had gone down drastically and added that “we have some properties which are still with the government but some are not know to us.”

Justice Apau then requested the committee to furnish the commission with the list of all deconfiscated assets and the processes followed in the exercise.
Earlier, Solicitor-Secretary of Lands Commission Kwame Poku-Boah testified on suits filed against the commission.

He said there were 17 claims against the commission and two involved failed allocation of government plots and the matter had since been dealt with.

He said four other cases of failed allocation of plots were pending in court and the rest were related to compensation claims for lands acquired by the state for projects in different parts of the country.

He said the chiefs in the area where the Bui Dam power project located are also suing for compensation.

He also said there were suits for compensation for lands along the Volta Lake flooded area, Ofankor, Ada, Osudoku, among other acquisitions.

He said currently, it was the Lands Commission that had to be sued following the merger of all allied land management institutions.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


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By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Commission of Enquiry investigating the payment of judgement debts yesterday heard how some owners encroach on state lands, sell them and turn around to claim compensation from the government.

The commission was briefed on instance of large parcels of lands at Abeka and Nungua all in Accra where the government attempted to use them for a sports complex but had to abandon it due to encroachment and the same owners are currently chasing for compensation on top of it.

Kwesi Kobea Bentsi-Enchil, Chief Valuer in charge of Compensation schedule at the Lands Valuation Division of the Lands Commission told the commission that there were two acquisitions in respect of the National Sports Complex initiative but all the lands appeared to have vanished.

He said the first acquisition for the complex was the National Olympic Sports Complex Instrument 1975 E.I. 61 amended by the state lands Accra site for National Sports Complex re-designation of purpose Instrument 2000 E.I. 202 at Abeka, Accra due to encroachment while the State Lands Nungua National Sports Complex instrument 1999 E.I. 17 at Nungua, Accra was also acquired.

He said that the Abeka acquisition was 2929.73 acres but the site plan attached the acquisition quoted 2870.60 acres while at Nungua, it covered 745.272 acres adding that “there are a total of 355 claimants for the Abeka acquisition covering freehold, alludial and secondary interest holders. The alludial claims are all in conflict.”

Mr. Bentsi-Enchil said the Abeka acquisition was valued ¢124.513 billion with an attendant administrative charge of ¢9.9billion payable to the Lands Commission while the Nungua acquisition was assessed at a total of ¢20.85billion with an attendant administrative charge of ¢2.8billion payable to the Lands Commission adding that “there are only two claimants: Regimanuel Gray Limited and the Nungua Stool.”

He said full compensation of a claim by the Estate of one Sarfa Mate had been paid including judgement interest debt paid by the Land Valuation Division in the Abeka Acquisition adding “the release was in 2009 and the interest debt was paid in 2012. A total of about GH¢1.5million was paid.”

“We can say that the Abeka acquisition is partially utilized with regards to the re-designation because evidence on our file showed that the SHC was allocated about 1,100 acres but they have been able to develop only 310 acres. As to whether they have title issued to them I am not aware.”

He said the Nungua acquisition still remained a National Sports Complex and no decision had been taken to be re-designated adding that “officially, encroachment is not known in the Nungua acquisition but privately I learnt it’s all been developed.”

Sole-Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau then remarked that “it started in Abeka, Nungua and now we are in Prampram for this same sports complex project. Very soon the project will be pushed to Sogakope due to encroachment. These land owners encroach and turn around to claim huge sums as compensation.”

Earlier, Dr. Mark Nii Akwei Ankrah, Managing Director of State Housing Company (SHC) had told the commission that the SHC had not seen any E.I. covering the Abeka acquisition and said they had suspended further grants of title.

“I cannot tell whether there was an enclave for the SHC or because the project did not come off, the land was given to SHC to handle,” he said, adding “we don’t have the root of title and there is no head lease.”
“Greater part of the land has been encroached and sold by the alludial owners,” he added.

Later Phillip Lartey, from Urban Roads assisted by Josephine Manu, a Legal Officer at the Ministry of Roads and Highways tendered in evidence certificates pertaining to Accra city road projects undertaken by Construction Pioneers (CP) in the 1990s.

He said there were 133 certificates all relating to CP but they were able to recover 124 and added that since it was a negotiated contract there was no tender.

He said the certificates were part of the 94million Euros that the government had to pay controversially to CP.

Monday, August 25, 2014


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By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, August 25, 2014

National Coordinator of National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) is increasingly becoming a hotbed for NDC activists to provide sanctuary for them to make a living.

Currently, NADMO has five deputy National Coordinators including Anita De Sooso who is in charge of special duties and doubles as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) National Women’s Organizer.

NADMO National Coordinator, Kofi Portuphy has already given Anita red card, describing her as lacking the requisite qualification to be appointed into the organization.

Anita appointment letter contains mouthwatering and tantalizing conditions of service only comparable to a minister of State.

Mr. Portuphy was on Asempa FM with KABA last week accusing his deputy of trying to take his job.

The government has been accused of stockpiling the organization, which has been found wanting on numerous disaster management case, with only activists of the NDC.

For instance, in every region, the positions for coordinators are reserved for NDC executives. Almost every coordinator at the district level is either an NDC constituency organizer or youth organizer among others and that has affected the organization in effective disaster management, seeing the place as avenue to create jobs for party activists.

The Stand-Off
Interestingly, it was Anita who appeared to have triggered the current ‘stand-off’ when she reported Mr. Portuphy who has been with NADMO since 1992, to President Mahama.

In her petition to the presidency, she said among other things that there was no governing council for NADMO, intimidation of staff, relief items as well as Mr. Potuphy’s ‘one-man show’ and wanted the highest office of the land to call her boss to order.

However, Mr. Portuphy responded harshly saying “she wants to use her appointment to create disaster for the nation.”

“If she has the appropriate qualification, I should be directed to give hand over to her. They should ignore all the technical people and say Anita go and do it but we will not sit down for that to happen because she does not qualify for the job,” the national coordinator fumed.

“If she had paid attention to the orientation we organized for her, she would have known her job. She cannot do it she is not qualified for that job!, Portuphy charged.

He said that all Anita is interested in “is distribution of relief items,” adding “she is crying that she should be scheduled on relief distribution but she is not trained there yet. She raised that issue with then Minister of the Interior Kwesi Ahwoi and he told her that was not her schedule.”

Car hijack
He said Anita ‘hijacked’ NADMO’s official car in her own right saying “her appointment says that she deserves a driver but before we realized she was using her own driver. The Pajero was donated by the Japanese government and we use it for our technical allies for trekking but she took it and went and broke the windscreen.”

Salary Demands
He ruled out paying Anita because she had not done any job. “She started work in February and by March/April she was complaining that she hadn’t received her salary but she had not presented all the requirements needed for her to be paid,” saying “she’s complaining that she hasn’t been paid; meanwhile she does not come to work. Anytime she comes to the office, she is coming to demand her salary from the accountant.”

“During the emergencies in the rainy season I was in the tranches with my deputies but she never set a foot to the office,” adding “we have had two buildings collapse. She did not come to the meetings as well as our briefing and debriefing meetings.”

“She hasn’t attended any meetings we have called. She must be patriotic enough to come to work. We have handled several emergencies when she should have been part of it but failed to attend,” he said and added that Anita does not come to work and had never submitted a written report for her visits to disaster affected areas as demanded.

He also accused Anita travelling without permission. “This is a clear violation of the Public Service rules. She has turned herself into a national coordinator,” Mr. Portuphy alleges.

“What she is doing is complete indiscipline and lawlessness. She has gone astray She say all the deputy coordinators are subservient to her.”

Anita hits back
Anita who said she was in the United States, responded to her boss’ claim on the same network but preferred not to talk about the issues in the media.
I heard everything my boss said but what I can say is that I am not accountable to any radio station. I love my country and I love my party.”

She admitted that she sent a letter to the presidency copied to the Minister of the Interior and Mr. Portuphy saying “This shows that my boss leaked the letter to the public domain otherwise he would not have been able to answer the questions you asked him.”

Anita is said to have returned to the country on Friday.

Genesis of feud
DAILY GUIDE learnt the genesis of the feud is the impending NDC race where Portuphy is challenging the incumbent, Dr Kwabena Adjei for the chairmanship position and enjoys the support of President John Mahama.
Anita on the other hand supports Dr Adjei, her immediate boss at the NDC national executive.


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By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, August 25, 2014

It has emerged that the government divested the Medie Horticultural Development Company Limited (MHDC) located at Medie near Nsawam without getting a pesewa from the transaction. 

In 1998, Ghana Fresh Produce Limited which has bought MHDC executed MoU with the government for them to work together towards executing a joint venture agreement to process, package and export horticultural products.

“We did not receive any money from that divestiture. We had a situation where the government took our shares and the other person also did but did not pay anything,” Asakkua Agambila Executive Secretary of the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) told the Commission of Enquiry investigating the payment of judgement debts yesterday.

The acquisition
He said “it is not clear from the record whether there was any acquisition. However, by 1972 the government passed legislative instrument of (State Lands Medie near Nsawam – Site for Central Horticultural Experimental Station and Dam) E.I. 104 to formalize the presence of the Ministry of Local Government and Parks & Gardens on the land.”

“The subject-matter of the acquisition was stated as being 359.86 acres. Subsequently, the Director of Survey did his mapping on the ground and disclosed that the land was actually more than 359.86 acres and that it was actually 538.856 acres. It is as a result of this discrepancy that the E.I. 104 of 1972 was amended in 2000 into E.I. 23 and the acquisition now reads 538.856 acres.”

Flurry of claims
According to Mr. Agambila, records showed that claims were lodged for 427.79 acres of that said land and added that “another 62.7 acres were noted as conflicting claims.”

He said “for 111 acres, there were no claims at all as at 2001 and by 2002, the issue of compensation started to generate. The value for the land as at 2001 was GH¢365,074.80.”

He said due to conflicts associated with the claims, the SFO now EOCO came into the matter in 2002 and came to the conclusion that only 10 of the claimants had been cleared and they were all entitled to a payment of GH¢225,799.86.

“It was only a recommendation. The payments were not effected and by 2004, the claimants continued to harass the ministry for their money and the sector minister set up a committee to set out the issues.”

Pre divestiture period
He said from 1965, the land had been occupied in one form or the other by the ministry acting through Parks & Gardens and by 1972 it had been formalized.

Mr. Agambila said from 1972, MHDC started partnering Parks & Gardens saying “60%  of MDCH was owned by a company called Nexus Produce Limited from South Africa; another company called Alpha Beta Limited owned 20% and John Lawrence Farms owned the other 20%.”

“Subsequently, another company called Ghana Fresh Produce Limited who had one John Kwasi Opoku Acquah as it Chairman acquired MHDC. It was at this stage that divestiture of the company came into the picture.”

He said MHDC did not own the land but worked with Parks & Gardens before the divestiture in 1998 adding “we at DIC do not know the arrangement that existed between the two.”

Joint venture
He said that under the joint venture agreement, the government owned 26%  while 74% was held Ghana Fresh Produce Limited.

“The 24% was evaluated such that the government’s share became the value of the 538.856 acres, the civil infrastructure, agricultural products and the equipment on the land,” adding “in the joint venture agreement, the government warranted that it had un-incumbent rights of entry, possession and user of the assets and land;  and on their part, the 74% holding was valued at GH¢203,769.77.”

The worry
The DIC Executive Secretary said “I am not in a position to understand this equity distribution because if 74% was equal to GH¢203,769.77 then 24% would make it next to peanut being the value of the land when the land had been valued at almost ¢4billion at that time.”

He said that “having executed the joint venture agreements, the government then turn around to deal with the claims from the land owners which if we had considered first, it would have helped us to go into the joint venture.”

“We were in a hurry to let go (divestiture) and now we have a burden to pay the claims in order to satisfy the warranty that we had un-incumbent assess, possession and user of the land. The cost of the acquisition of the E.I. is on the government and the cost remains unpaid,” he told Sole-Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau. 

Friday, August 22, 2014


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By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, August 22, 2014

The Commission of Enquiry investigating the payment of judgement debts yesterday heard that Subin Timbers Limited - confiscated by the government in the heat of the PNDC revolution - had been in existence as far back as1969 and could not have been formed by January 1977 as claimed by a petitioner.

However, the petitioner was able to explain the circumstances that brought Ohene Kofi (deceased) to lead the defunct company in the late1970s after he entered into a partnership with an Italian called Evo Fiorini.

Emmanuel Arthur, counsel for the Kumasi based pastor Daniel Opoku Adabo who is claiming Subin Timbers on behalf of the original owner Ohene Kofi told Sole Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau that the destruction of documents by soldiers during the revolution affected evidence.

“When Evo Fiorini and Ohene Kofi met, they agreed that Ohene Kofi be made a director of Subin Timbers. It wasn’t that a new company was formed and he was given shareholding.”

He said that initially, Ohene Kofi owned Kofi Timber Agency while Evo Fiorini had Evo Timber Company Limited and the Italian was also a director in Subin Timber Limited in Kumasi as at 1969 with a branch in Takoradi.

Counsel said that “along the line, Subin Timbers in Kumasi fell into debt and that was the point Mr. Amoah also a director, introduced Mr. Fiorini to Ohene Kofi over a merger. Ohene Kofi paid the debt for Mr. Fiorini and became part of the new Subin Timers Limited.”

Mr. Arthur said when a case was filed against Ohene Kofi’s family by one Dr. Ampaabeng who had bought WVCL through a divestiture and they requested for the current standing of the company from the Registrar-General’s Department “all that we could obtain was the change of the directorship and it was clear that certain pages had been removed.”

“If we had found the missing part in the docket, everything would have been clear. We would have seen who had the greater percentage of shares in Subin Timbers,” he said, adding “the merger was around 1976 and the absolving of Ohene Kofi into Subin Timbers was in January 1977.”

When the commission pointed out to the witness that Subin Timber of 1969 had no link with Subin Timber of 1977, counsel said “Subin Timber in 1969 was in Kumasi and had an offshoot in Takoradi right opposite St Mary’s Secondary School.”

“The nexus is not there because Ohene Kofi’s documents at the Takoradi office and house were taken away by the rampaging military at the time,” adding “Mr. Fiorini had to flee the country and later relocated to Gabon and even invited Ohene Kofi to join him over there for a similar business but he declined due to old age.”

He said Mr. Fiorini later asked Ohene Kofi to fight and get the company back if he could and it was Ohene Kofi who initiated the process to get back the company at CHRAJ before he passed out along the line.

He said Ohene Kofi’s family won the case both at the High Court and the Court of Appeal when Dr. Ampaabeng who had bought Western Veneer and Lumber Company (WVLC) after a divestiture sued them.

Executive Secretary of Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) Asakkua Agambila blew wide open the Subin Timers case recently, when he asked the commission to revisit the matter because the beneficiary of the deconfiscation could not have been the owner of the company.

He had told the commission that there was amalgamation of companies including Subin Timbers Limited into Western Veneer and Lumber Company (WVLC) after the confiscation in the 1980s and Ohene Kofi who claimed to be the owner Subin Timers should not have been given everything at WVCL.

“What informed their decision that Subin Timbers not being a sole proprietorship belonged to one person. We at DIC, don’t even believe that Ohene Kofi had any shares in Subin Timbers and in any case there were no shares to be deconfiscated,” Mr. Agambila has added.


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By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, August 22, 2014

The Sole-Commissioner tasked to investigate the payment of judgement debts has taken a swipe at the various professional associations for their persistent strike actions which he said was affecting the country’s development.

“Everybody gets up and wants to embark on a strike action. There is too much indiscipline in this country. They do it and still get their monthly salaries. Look at what POTAG and others are doing. I think the government should look at a law that would freeze the salaries of striking workers,” he said.

Justice Yaw Apau of the Court of Appeal was speaking at the commission’s daily sittings yesterday after the Acting Executive Secretary of National Labour Commission (NLC) had testified on how state institutions were treating the labour arbitrator with utmost contempt.

Testifying in the case in which two Ghana Health Service (GHS) staff had petitioned the commission because they claim they were denied CAP 30 pension, the Acting Executive Secretary Bernice Welbeck lamented how officials from the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are snubbing the constitutional body mandated to handle labour disputes.

“The private companies are cooperating with us,” she told the commission, “but majority of the MDAs don’t honour our invitations.”

She said for instance that the Director-General of the GHS has refused to come for arbitration in the case of the two staff Agnes Tawiah and Seth Adzah who want the health authorities to pay their pension under Chapter 30 of the 1950 British Colonial Ordinances (Pension Ordinance No. 42), popularly known as CAP 30.

Although the ministry insisted that the petitioners had already received pensions under the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Pension Scheme and were not entitled to any further payment, Mrs Welbeck said the GHS’s contribution would have helped the NLC to come out with the truth.

“We intend to summarily determine the case having given the GHS the opportunity to rebut the plaintiff’s claim,” she said.

She also told the commission how the government is losing huge sums due to the lack of cooperation from the MDAs.

The testimony incensed Justice Apau when he said “in Ghana, it is the educated people who are sinking this country. It is not the farmer or the poor market woman…it is the educated people who mostly enjoy government scholarship who are hurting the country.”

Later Asakkua Agambila Executive Secretary of Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) also testified in the divestiture of Gihoc Pharmaceuticals to Phyto-Riker Pharmaceuticals Inc and turned into Phyto-Riker (GIHOC) Pharmaceuticals Ltd in 1998.

He said there was a valid lease of the land in Dome, Accra to the investor and said a court once ruled that the land was legally acquired by the government before admitting that there were times he heard about encroachments on the land.

Kwesi Kobea Bentsi-Enchil, Chief Valuer in chager of Compensation Schedule at the Land Valuation Division also testified in the Gihoc case and said the government had acquired a total of 103.07 acres of land under E.I. 81 and E.I. 48 respectively for the project.

David Agbale, of the Legal Department at the Ministry of Finance told the commission that the ministry was yet to come across the payment request it made in the Gihoc transaction.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


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By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Two staff of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) who were denied Cap 30 pension have separately petitioned the Commission of Enquiry investigating the payment of judgement debts.

The petitioners Agnes Tawiah and Seth Adzah want the Ministry of Health (MoH) to pay their pension under Chapter 30 of the 1950 British Colonial Ordinances (Pension Ordinance No. 42), popularly known as CAP 30.

However, the ministry insisted that the petitioners had already received pensions under the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Pension Scheme and were not entitled to any further payment.

The CAP 30 pension scheme, seen as high over SSNIT pension, is funded by direct budgetary allocations from the consolidated fund but public servants who qualify for CAP 30 still contributes 5% of their monthly salary (deductible at source) while the government (employer pays 12.5% of their employees’ respective salaries to SSNIT.

Yesterday, Hamidu Adakurugu, Director of Finance at MoH told Sole-Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau of the Court of Appeal that the petitioners all went in for SSNIT pension and could not turn around to clain CAP 30.

“When you go for the SSNIT pension, you cannot benefit from the CAP 30 again. By their action they opted for the SSNIT pension and that disqualifies them from CAP 30.”

He said “Mr. Adzah told me that five months after his pension he was paid ¢40million (GH¢4,000)” adding, “Agnes told me she went for the SSNIT pension but the amount she did not mention.”

“Her reason was that the CAP 30 was delaying and she was sick before retirement and as a result went in for the SSNIT pension,” he added.

“From the documentation, it is clear that she qualifies for CAP 30 but the problem is that because she went for the SSNIT pension, it means he has forfeited the CAP 30,” adding that the Controller and Accountant General’s letter is instructive on pension computation.

“It is not in doubt that they is qualified but she opted for the SSNIT pension. They didn’t wait for the CAP 30 to be processed. They could have waited to benefit from it.”

“From my telephone discussion with them they clearly indicated that they accept the fact that they have taken the SSNIT pension but what they want is that we should process the CAP 30 and deduct the SSNIT pension from it and  give the balance to them but I think it is not feasible.”

Mr. Adakurugu said that in terms of magnitude, the CAP 30 was far bigger than the SSNIT pension but added that “I cannot explain the actual basis for the calculation.”

Later when Justice Apau perused the documents tendered in evidence by the ministry, he found that the two cases were pending before the National Labour Commission and therefore said the commission needed to allow the labour arbitrator to conclude the matters.

The ‘Commission of Enquiry into the payment of Judgement Debt and Akin’ under C.I. 79 to investigate the frivolous and dubious payments of huge monies to undeserving individuals and companies, was appointed by President John Dramani Mahama after public uproar over the payments in what has now come to be termed as Judgement Debts (JD).

Notable among them were payments made to CP (€94 million) and the never-ending case of GH¢51.2million parted to the self-styled National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, both of which many believed were dubious and frivolous.


Posted on:
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Kumasi based pastor Daniel Opoku Adabo, who succeeded in taking back Subin Timbers Limited, confiscated in the heat of the PNDC revolution was grilled yesterday by the Commission of Enquiry investigating the payment of judgement debts.

The witness who appeared incoherent in his testimony was subsequently asked by Sole-Commission Justice Yaw Apau to attend its sittings again at a later date in the company his lawyer who would be able to put the issues into perspective.

He had petitioned the commission to allow him to set the records straight since he said the media misreported the whole Subin Timbers saga.

Executive Secretary of Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) Asakkua Agambila blew wide open the Subin Timers case recently,  when he asked the commission to revisit the matter because the beneficiary of the deconfiscation could not have been the owner of the company.

He had told the commission that there was amalgamation of companies including Subin Timbers Limited into Western Veneer and Lumber Company (WVLC) after the confiscation in the 1980s and Ohene Kofi who claimed to be the owner Subin Timers should not have been given everything at WVCL.

Subsequently, Ohene Kofi passed away and Daniel Opoku Adabo who claims to be a step-son of the deceased took over the deconfiscation process and purportedly got an order to take possession of the defunct company.

“What informed their decision that Subin Timbers not being a sole proprietorship belonged to one person. We at DIC, don’t even believe that Ohene Kofi had any shares in Subin Timbers and in any case there were no shares to be deconfiscated,” Mr. Agambila added.

Following up on a petition he sent to correct the issues, Mr. Adabo admitted yesterday that he went to the National Reconciliation Commission after Osei Kofi had passed on but could not tell what happened at the NRC.

“I put before the NRC that Subin Timbers which belongs to my father had been confiscated,” but when Dometi Kofi Sorkpor, counsel for the commission asked him to tell what had transpired the witness said “If my memory serves me right, I didn’t give any document to them.”

Counsel: Are you telling this commission that you do not have copies of certificate of incorporation and other related documents that go with the incorporation of a company?

Witness: We have but I did not bring them.

Counsel: What happened at the NRC?

Witness: I went there to tell my father’s story to them that his company had been confiscated.

Justice Apau (interrupts): After the commission heard you, what happened?

Witness: They told us to go and we will hear from them.

Justice Apau: So nothing happened?

Witness: As far as my memory serves me right, nothing happened. We were later given a deconfiscation note.

He told the commission that he got the deconfiscation note from the AG’s Office but said he did not have it with him as he testified.

Justice Apau: So the NRC didn’t take any decision about your case?

Witness: No Sir!

Justice Apau: Then how did the deconfiscation come about?
Daniel Opoku Adabo said it was the late Ohene Kofi who had petitioned the AG, the CHRAJ and the NRC but also said he didn’t have those documents with him.

“When I got the deconfiscation note what I went to court with it to effect the deconfiscation.”

Justice Apau: And you don’t have a copy here to show us?

Counsel (steps in): You went to court to sue who?

Witness: My understanding is that it is about the ownership of Subin Timbers

Counsel: Which body did you sue?

Witness: My lawyer petitioned the court and a judge gave us permission to go and take ownership of the company when I received the deconfiscation note.

Justice Apau: Go and bring your lawyer because it appears you don’t understand the issues. You did not go to court. Rather, it was Subin Timbers that was sued. In the document you brought to us, there was nothing indicating your company sued rather, it was your company that was sued