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02 April 2014

Ghana Sole Commissioner expresses worry over default judgements.

Mr. Justice Yaw Appau, Sole Commissioner of the Judgment Debt Commission, has expressed worry over many default judgements, leading to the payment of judgment debts by the State.

At the sitting of the Commission on Monday in Accra, Justice Appau said such payments drain government coffers, which prevent it from carrying out development projects.

Justice Appau made these remarks when a case involving the Attorney-General and Mr. Peter Abban was heard by the Commission.

In that case, Mr. Abban sued the Attorney-General over alleged destruction of his property by the Urban Roads, leading to the construction of the Kanda Highway in 1993, and took a compensation of GHC264,000 from the State in 2008 as judgment debt.

It was, however, revealed later on that, Mr. Abban was never affected by the said construction, but succeeded in taking the money from the State because there was no representation from the Attorney-General's Department at the court over the case leading to a default judgment.

Mr. Kwadwo Awuah Appiasah, Director in charge of External Resource Mobilisation at the Ministry of Finance appeared before the Commission to give documents relating to the payment made to Mr. Abban.

Mr. Justice Appau, who was not happy over how the case was handled, disclosed that, in many of the cases that led to the payment of judgment debt, State Attorneys failed to appear before court to defend the State, even though that was what they were employed to do.

He, therefore, urged the State to take a second look at the lawyers it employed as State Attorneys.

He also advised government to implement the recommendations made by the Constitutional Review Committee, which called for the decoupling of Attorney-General’s Office from the Minister of Justice, to ensure proper supervision of the activities of State Attorneys.

With regards to the Mr. Abban and the Attorney General’s case, the Lands Commission including a representative of the Attorney General’s Department failed to appear before the Commission after asking for permission, and would now appear on April 14, 2014.

Source: GNA


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