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A-G Storms Court…To Fight $28m Judgment Debt   
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Marietta Brew Appiah Oppong
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The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong was in court on Monday to fight a contempt case hanging around the neck of the Acting Governor of the Bank of Ghana but not without a fierce verbal exchange with George Eshun, Counsel for the Plaintiff.

The Plaintiff, Sweater and Socks Ltd was praying the High Court to commit the Acting BOG Boss, Dr. H.K. Wampah, for contempt of Court for the failure to comply with a supposed court order directing the Bank to garnishee the bank accounts of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC), and the Ministry of Finance and make onward payment of US$28,595,600.00 to settle a judgment debt.

However, the Attorney-General, obviously livid with the request by the Plaintiff, burst out at the Cocoa Affairs Court Room 22 questioning the fundamental basis of the request. “Show me your claims and the court order directing the state to pay you that amount”, she asked George Eshun. The Counsel for the Plaintiff did not take the request by the A-G kindly and retorted “do not invite mud to be thrown at you, Madam”, prompting the Presiding Judge Justice Gabor to intervene.

“We are not here for that matter so let us focus on the substantive case”, he advised. The Court therefore adjourned the case to 20th March, 2013 for a ruling on the contempt action. On that same day, the Court will hear a “Motion on notice under the inherent jurisdiction of the Court for an order setting aside void orders and proceedings of the High Court” which was brought by the Attorney-General.

The Attorney-General is challenging that “after the final judgment of Mrs. Justice Inkumsah-Abban on the reliefs indorsed on the Plaintiff’s Writ of Summons, the High Court was functus officio and that her Lordship Justice Elizabeth Ankumah had no jurisdiction to conduct another trial and give the ruling .. and that same is not warranted by any rule of law or procedure. The effect of such trial was to unlawfully re-open the case and review the judgement and orders of Her Lordship Mrs. Justice Inkumsah-Abban”.

According to the Statement of Claim dated 22 July, 1994, Sweater and Socks Ltd. stated that it was a locally registered manufacturing company, doing business in Accra.

“In the year 1979 or thereabout, the Gaisie Committee of enquiry which investigated the assets and operations of a certain ASCHKAR of Dakmak house published their report. In their report, they made adverse findings against ASCHKAR for tax evasion and other financial irregularities”, it stated.

“The Gaisie Committee therefore made recommendations that all business enterprises or firms that ASCHKAR had or owned should be confiscated to the state. The Gaisie committee in the mistaken belief that Plaintiff Company belonged to the said ASCHKAR recommended that government confiscates Plaintiff Company to the state”, it stated further.

In 1992, according to the Statement of Claim, “the PNDC (confiscation of assets) (renewal of doubts) 325 listed comprehensively all items seized for the state, categorically EXCLUDING the plaintiff company. The true unavoidable legal position therefore is that by virtue of the Abban Tribunal decision confirmed by the PNDC law 325, Plaintiff company remains DECONFISCATED and therefore has the right to resume its business operations without let or hindrance from the two defendants”.

Sweater and Socks Ltd is a Lebanese-owned company which is in operation after it had been reverted to its owners.

The New Crusading GUIDE is well informed that the Acting BOG Boss last week signed for the settlement of the $28m judgment debt in order to avoid being committed for contempt.
Source: Gordon Asare-Bediako/New Crusading Guide/Ghana

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