Mr Yaw Oppong, the counsel for the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, and four others, yesterday moved an application seeking the court to commit Mr Daniel Yao Domelevo, the Auditor-General (A-G), to prison for contempt of court.
This was done in the judge’s chamber, but the Ghanaian Times has gathered that Mr Oppong would finish his legal argument at the next adjourned date on February 24, 2020.
Messrs Maafo, Domelevo and the other applicants as well as their counsel were in court yesterday, but it is not clear why proceedings were held in-camera.
The applicants had urged the court to commit the A-G to prison for failing to comply with the law to file a response to an appeal in the case, in which he (Domelevo) surcharged the Senior Minister and four others to refund monies allegedly paid to a UK company for no work done.
They asked the court to hold that the conduct of the A-G “clearly amounts to a gross contumacious disrespect to the authority and sanctity of the law and, therefore, ought to be punished in accordance with the law”.
Mr Maafo and the other applicants also urged the court to make consequential orders, including the setting aside of the “impugned decision of the respondent”.
The applicants said the refusal of the A-G to file documents as required by law was evident that the decision made by the A-G against them was actuated by malice and a calculated attempt to impugn their hard won reputation.
Mr Maafo and the four other persons argued that Mr Domelevo was required by law to file a response to the appeal after 14 days service on him, but he failed to do so.
They said that a search conducted at the High Court, Accra, on January 14, 2020, has revealed that although the A-G was served with the appeal on December 13, 2019, he has refused to comply with the law.
The A-G had indicted the Ministry of Finance and the Senior Minister for paying a UK firm, Kroll and Associates Limited, in 2017, to recover assets from identified wrongdoers, among others, without verifying outcomes.
Mr Maafo had said he was resorting to the court because “the evidence available shows clearly that the Auditor-General erred in law and professional procedures in the exercise of his powers regarding his audit on payments to Kroll and Associates Limited”.
He also insisted that approval for the request for single-source procurement of professional services was obtained contrary to claims by the A-G that they failed to seek approval from the Public Procurement Authority.