BNI, Other Bodies Deny Knowledge Of AAL Deal

JUSTICE  YAW  APAU-SOLE  COMMISSIONER (3)The circumstances surrounding the claiming of judgement debts from state institutions by African Automobile Limited (AAL), is getting more interesting as the affected institutions say they have not signed any contract with the vehicle distribution company.

Two security agencies – the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), together with the Lands Valuation Division of the Lands Commission which appeared before the Judgement Debt Commission yesterday, said that they did not sign any contract with AAL for the supply of vehicles.

Mr Godfred Agyapong, Head of Finance BNI, Mr. Owusu Addo, Deputy Financial Controller of GIS, and Kwesi Bentsi-Enchil, Chief Valuer in charge of Compensation of the Lands Valuation Division, who represented their various establishments, said they were not even aware of the claims made by AAL until the Commission subpoenaed them to produce documents on the vehicles acquired.

Regarding Credit Facility Agreement Mr. Agyapong said that the BNI had no documents because there was no agreement between it and AAL and that the three vehicles the outfit (BNI) received in September 1995, for its operations might have been supplied by the National Security Council (NSC).

He said that the BNI engaged the services of African Automobile Limited solely on maintenance and servicing of the vehicles and nothing else and that all services rendered by AAL were fully paid for.

According to him, the BNI, in June 30, 2001, received statement of accounts on local handling charges covering all the three vehicles as well as summary statement of accounts on workshop services bearing the same date, June 30, 2001.

Mr Agyapong said that a careful scrutiny of documents submitted by AAL to the BNI revealed massive inaccuracies because the bills (statements) were prepared in double, triple and quadruple, stressing that all attempts made by the organisation (BNI) to get AAL to come and reconcile the accounts had failed.

He informed the Commission that AAL wrote letters reminding the BNI of its indebtedness which was non existent.
He said that the BNI settled all debts owed AAL in March 2000 which had reflected in the 2001 statement of accounts but could not produce receipts immediately to support his claims.

Mr Agyapong said that frantic efforts were being made to retrieve other important documents from the archives and asked for two weeks to do so.

“My Lord, our records show that we do not owe African Automobile Limited as at the time it went to court to secure the purported judgement debt,” he said.

On the part of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Mr Owusu Addo said that the only document covering their two Nissan Mitsubishi pick-ups with registration numbers GR 1445 F and GV 4842 C supplied in 1995 by an “unknown” source, was the change of ownership from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).

He said that the officer who was in charge of the files had retired and asked for some time to retrieve the necessary documents from the archives.

Mr Kwesi Bentsi-Enchil of the Land Valuation Division said that his consultations with former officers of the department indicated that they did not owe AAL and that there were also no documents to that effect.
He said that most of their projects and other vehicles were provided by the World Bank.

The Sole Commissioner, Mr Justice Yaw Apau, was not enthused about the way and manner AAL sued the said institutions without informing them. - Castro Zangina-Tong

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