The Attorney General’s Department has rubbished calls on the department to hurriedly retrieve monies wrongfully paid to organizations and individuals as judgment debts.
Deputy Attorney General, Dr. Dominic Ayine told Citi News that such calls are “dishonest and hypocritical.”
“I think there is a sense in which people are being grossly dishonest. Even legal practitioners who know how long it takes to retrieve monies in the form of civil suits in court are still saying that we are not in haste. How do they want us to hasten?” he queried.
He indicated that the Attorney General’s Department has taken the necessary legal steps to plough back these monies into government’s coffers.
The Supreme Court in two separate rulings in June and July this year unanimously directed Waterville Holdings and Isofoton SA should refund GHC47 million and over $300,000 respectively paid to them as judgment debt by the state.
The state, following these judgments secured by the former Attorney General, Martin Amidu, filed a process in August to retrieve the monies.
Also, the AG’s Department was directed by the President to work with the Finance Ministry to retrieve all monies unlawfully paid to some institutions and individuals under the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA).
Although the AG’s Department has announced that an amount of GHC 14.5 million has been recovered, a member of the committee that investigated the alleged financial malfeasance at GYEEDA expressed disappointment at the amount retrieved so far.
According to Edem Senanu government’s failure to get the monies refunded is helping the indicted persons and companies to rob Ghanaian citizens of millions of Ghana cedis.
The Ghana Anti-corruption Coalition also believes government is doing very little in pursuing beneficiaries of such funds.
But the Deputy Attorney General disagrees. For him, his outfit is following the due process of the law.
“The law requires that we should hasten slowly and that is what we are doing. We have taken the necessary legal steps to retrieve the monies as ordered by the Supreme Court,” he explained.
Dr. Ayine served notice that the AG’s Department cannot engage in self-help by “going to beat them up to let them pay” stressing that “we need to follow due process and that is what we are doing.”
He gave the assurance that government is committed to that process “and when the monies have been retrieved, we will make it available to the Republic.”