Apau Report Doctored – Amidu

Justice Yaw Apau and Martin Amidu
Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Martin Amidu, says the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has doctored the Sole Commissioner’s Report on judgement debts in order to incriminate the New Patriotic Party (NPP) standard bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The NDC government had stated in its White Paper that it did not understand why Justice Yaw Apau, the Sole Commissioner of the Judgement Debt Commission, could not establish a case of wrongdoing against Nana Akufo-Addo, but rather went ahead to recommend sanctions for some public officials over a $4.9 million financial loss to the state in 2002 in the Delta Foods case.

‘Unfortunately, propaganda and suppressing political corruption on the part of this Government is so foremost on its agenda that it is blinded to see that the Attorney-General’s Department to be sanctioned will be NDC 2′s Attorney-General’s Department as recommended by the Commissioner,’ the former AG said in his critique of the White Paper.

Mr Amidu, who has come to be known as Citizen Vigilante for his anti-corruption exploits, said ‘It could also be that by some chicanery the political drafters of the Manifesto White Paper deliberately twisted the words and pretended not to see which year’s office of the Attorney-General is to be sanctioned since Nana Akufo-Addo is a feared flagbearer of the largest opposition NPP and a desired target for political propaganda in election 2016 for which the Manifesto White Paper, like the covert judicial operations, was intended.’

Genesis Of Case
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s failure to pay Delta Foods for the supply of 21,000 tonnes of American white maize in 1997 resulted in a $2 million judgement debt, and despite agreeing it owed the American company, the AG’s office at the time went to the Supreme Court to challenge the judgement, leading to a delay in the payment.

A $4.9 million additional interest then accrued on the debt and in 2002, the AG’s office recommended the payment of the amount to the solicitor for Delta Foods Ltd., Peter Ala Adjetey.

Case Details
According to Mr Amidu who was deputy AG at the time the Delta Foods case was pending, the proper title of the case the then AG applied for certiorari instead of paying upon the consent judgement was, ‘Republic v High Court, Accra; Ex-Parte Attorney-General (Delta Foods Case) [1998-1999] SCGLR 595.’

‘The Solicitor-General at the time, Mr E. A. Addo, under the NDC 2 Government, was adamant in applying for certiorari and argued the case himself with the late Mr Avah and the late SY Anin (both then Chief State Attorneys) and lost the case to a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court made up of Bamford-Addo, Ampiah, Acquah, Atuguba and Sophia Akuffo JJSC.’

Akufo-Addo Clean
He said the ruling was given on March 3, 1999, adding, ‘Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was then (if my memory serves me right) the ranking member for the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament and had nothing to do with the case.’

Mr Amidu said that when the Sole Commissioner stated in his report that the AG did not exhibit ‘candour and good faith’ in seeking the order of certiorari at the Supreme Court in the case, ‘he was referring to the office of the Attorney General in 1998-1999 and not the later tenure of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo after 7th January, 2001 when Prof Mills and myself lost the elections to President Kufuor,’ Citizen Vigilante observed.

‘Nana Akufo-Addo merely paid the $4.9 million to the NDC’s Larry Adjety’s father to curtail any further rise of the interest, but it was the improper and wrong decision of the office of the Attorney General under NDC 2 to seek a certiorari in the Supreme Court on mere technicalities … that burdened the Government with the additional $4.9 million payment and not the payment by the NPP Attorney General who was merely obeying the decision of the Supreme Court in refusing the certiorari,’ the former AG explained.

‘There may be a problem of understanding the English language by whosoever drafted the NDC Government Manifesto White Paper, but the Supreme Court decision could have been resorted to in finding out which year’s office of the Attorney General applied for the certiorari.’

Real Culprits
Mr Amidu said, ‘There is certainly a need to go back sixteen years to conduct an investigation to identify public officers to be sanctioned because that was the mandate given the Sole Commission by this Government to begin from the coming into force of the 1992 Constitution, unless it least expected an independent report from a distinguished justice of the superior courts of Ghana.

‘Those who will be caught will include the former Solicitor-General, ‘Several Ways of Killing a Cat’ and a former Member of the Council of State, both of who were at the Ministry of Agriculture. As far as I recollect, the Solicitor-General handled the Delta Foods Ltd case in his own right as Solicitor-General, even though he was somewhat related to the Attorney General at the time, with whom he could have discussed it.’

By William Yaw Owusu

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