The Supreme Court Judgment on the ?Isofoton? case raises interesting issues for discussion and consideration. One of the key issues that the Court?s judgment has brought up for discussion is the absence of parliamentary approval of the Isofoton contract as initially awarded by the Government. The Court essentially relied on the absence of parliamentary approval to order a refund of all monies paid to ?Isofoton? as a result of the earlier judgment debt that the company had secured.
The Supreme Court?s decision however does not appear to have laid the matter to rest as much as we think. Indeed what the court?s decision has done is rather to open up the Government to another case of negligence based on its failure to secure parliamentary approval for a contract that it awarded to ?Isofoton?. The court?s decision has therefore brought up to focus on judgment debts to the root causes of these cases, that is the arbitrary and politically motivated cancellation of Government contracts by especially the previous NPP Government as is the case in the ?Isofoton? matter.
The real question to ask going forward is who had the responsibility for securing the needed Parliamentary approval.
Martin Amidu?s effort to set aside the ?Isofoton? judgment debt may only have given the Government a brief reprieve. This is especially so if the main ground for setting aside the judgment is that the contract was not backed by Parliamentary approval. Obviously it is not the responsibility of ?Isofoton? to obtain parliamentary approval?and therefore the company should not be made to suffer for the failure of Ghanaian officials to do their job as required. It is therefore reasonable to expect the Ghana Government to reimburse Isofoton for any monies it refunds due to the Judgment.
If eventually any monies are paid to ?Isofoton? this raises a clear cut case of causing financial loss to the state in that officials who failed to secure parliamentary approval for the Isofoton contract are the real cause of any loss which the nation Ghana might incur in this case.
The lesson going forward is that judgment debts that are set aside solely on the ground of lack of parliamentary approval obviously and impliedly raise issues of official negligence and leave the door open for Government to be sued? in another case for recovery of any monies that companies are made to refund by the Supreme Court.
In essence cancellation of contracts by politicians on grounds that are not watertight eventually cost the nation needless and avoidable losses that result in unwarranted judgment debts. The NPP especially should refrain from throwing mud at the current Government for payment of Judgment debts, which debts arose from wrongful decisions that they have taken in the past.
Forward ever, backwards never.?God bless our Homeland Ghana.
Source: Mensah Dekportor
(NDC- Germany Communication Director)