Not just Woyome. You look at Waterville, it is the same pattern. You look at the others, you can see a similar pattern. It cannot be inefficient. Kwaku (Baako) decides to call it recklessness. It cannot be recklessness. It is deliberate, it goes beyond people being reckless
These are words of the NPP’s Nana Akomea while speaking on the Newsfile program on the JoyNews on August 2, 2014.
This was a time the NDC’s John Mahama-led government had come under intense pressure to retrieve some ¢51.2 million judgement debt from businessman Alfred Woyome.
A host of other judgment debt payments had equally become the subject of heated public discussions.
It, therefore, came as no surprise that the subject found expression in the NPP’s 2016 Manifesto. Page 134, point f provided as follows;
f. payments of dubious judgment debts and questionable settlements.
This was under the broad theme of “Current state of Public Accountability”. The Party promised as follows
The NPP will fight corruption head-on through preventive, detective, corrective and punitive actions. Our anti-corruption policy will be based on three key pillars: institutional reform, legislative reform, and attitudinal change/public education.
The NPP has since taken over Government and JoyNews has been tracking the thorny issue of judgment debts.
A Right to Information request was first sent to the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
The Office responded that the appropriate place to obtain this information was the Finance Ministry.
A subsequent request was therefore sent to the Finance Ministry where the Information was provided.
The Information reveals that Government has since 2017 paid Judgment debts totalling ¢125 million.
The Highest Judgment debt was paid in 2018. An amount of 30.9 million cedis was paid to Jubilee Tractors and Assembly Plant Limited. This arose from a case filed against the National Security Council. In 2017, an amount of 29.5 million cedis was paid to NDK Financial Services.
A close comparison of the various years shows that the highest amount paid since the NPP took over government was in 2017 when payments totalled ¢54 million.
A 2021 research published by the Centre for Social Justice shows that this ¢125 million figure compares nowhere near the whopping ¢356.6 million debt paid by the NDC administration in 2010.
It, however, ranks higher when what was paid in the first 4 years of the John Mahama Administration is compared to the first 4 years of the Akufo-Addo administration.
A total judgment debt of ¢69.9 million was paid by the NDC administration between 2013 and 2016.
President Akufo-Addo’s government between 2017 and 2020 paid 120 of 125 million cedis in total judgment debt.
So far, ¢2.8 million in judgment debt has been paid by the government in the year 2022.
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