Businessman Compensated Without Records Of Firms’ Confiscation

Justice Apau- Sole CommissionerThe two senior government officials, who appeared at the Judgement Debts Commission yesterday regarding the payment of 34.7 billion old cedis compensation to an Akim-Oda-based timber merchant said, they could not trace records on the transaction.

Mr. Kwadwo Awuah Peasah, Director in Charge of External Resource Mobilisation (Bilateral) of the Ministry of Finance, and Mr. Andrews Kingsley Kojo Kufe, Deputy Controller and Accountant General, in charge of Treasury, said they had limited information on what generated the payment since the files on the matter could not be found in their respective offices.

The government paid 34,758,353,331 old cedis in 2007, to Nana  Emmanuel Woode who said his two timber firms, Holex Ghana Limited and Priorities Ghana Limited, both situated at Akim-Oda in Eastern Region, were confiscated by the state.

How the companies were confiscated leading to the payment of the compensation to the beneficiary, still remains a mystery.

Mr. John Kweku Mensah, Chief Investigations Officer in charge of Confiscated Assets, Office of the President had also told the Commission on Tuesday, August 26, that he was not aware of the companies’ confiscation, neither were there records in the office about their seizure.

The Deputy Controller, Mr. Kufe stated that the little information available to the department was that a directive was issued by the Ministry of Finance to the Controller and Accountant-General in December 2006, to effect payment.

He said the Controller then instructed the Bank of Ghana (BoG) the same year to pay, a directive which the bank complied with, and paid the money to Nana Woode on February 4, 2007.

On his part, Mr. Awuah Peasah said, though the ministry gave the approval for the release of the money, the original file could not be found, hence he could not tell the Commission why the compensation was paid.

The Sole Commissioner, Mr. Justice Yaw Apau, collected a copy of the original letter the witness (Awuah Peasah) had printed from the computer without a signature, as documentary evidence for the Commission’s file.

It is also not known whether the matter was determined by a law court warranting the payment of the compensation to Nana Woode.

Sitting resumes on Tuesday, September 9.

By Castro Zangina-Tong

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