The woes of former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Betty Mould-Iddrisu, are far from over in the controversial judgment debt payment saga as Castle, the seat of government, says it has no knowledge about payments made to Construction Pioneers (CP).
This means that Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu unilaterally negotiated for a payment settlement with CP and committed the State to the payment when at that time the construction firm owned the state several millions of unpaid taxes.
Government had in a negotiated settlement spearheaded by Betty in March 2010, agreed to pay CP an amount of ?94,000,000 for alleged wrongful abrogation of some contracts by the State in 2003.
But even before the agreement was reached, the embattled former Attorney-General authorized the payment of ?14 million to the construction firm as part payment of the negotiated settlement claims of the ?94 million.
Following this, a payment scheduled was further approved by Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu for the settlement of the remaining amount of ?80 million by the end of June 2012.
However, in the latest twist to the controversial saga, the presidency has officially indicated that cabinet had not approved the payment.
In a letter dated March 22,2012, signed by the Chief of Staff, Henry M. Newman to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, the presidency washed its hands off the deal, stating ?I regret to inform you that we have not found any information in respect of Cabinet Approval of the Settlement Agreement referred to in your said letter?.
The letter was in response to an earlier one dated March 5, 2012 from the Chairman of the PAC, Albert Kan-Dapaah, asking the presidency to furnish the parliamentary committee with information on whether or not cabinet had approved the payment of ?80million to Construction Pioneers.
The communication from the presidency further stated that ?by a copy of this letter, the Hon. Minister for Justice and Attorney General is expected to liaise with you on this to discuss possible issues arising there from.?
It would be recalled that Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu was moved to the Ministry for Education in a cabinet reshuffle and later forced to resign her post due to the role she played in the payment of over GH?51.2 million as judgment debt to Alfred Agbesi Woyome, a businessman and a major financier of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
She has since appeared before the parliamentary committee on the issue of CP.
The PAC has commenced public hearings on the report of the Auditor-General on the public accounts of Ghana for 2009 and 2010, which have captured the payment of the judgment debts to companies and individuals by government.
Daily Guide has learnt that more money had been paid to CP per the settlement agreement reached with Betty, and it is likely to be captured in the 2011 Auditor General?s report to Parliament.
Source: Daily Guide