The Chief Director of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu yesterday denied the indebtedness of the Ministry to African Automobile Limited (AAL), the Sole Distributor of Mitsubishi cars in Ghana.
He indicated to the commission that AAL supplied 27 Mitsubishi vehicles, which were made up of Pajero, L200 and L300 vehicles in 1995.
According to him, all the vehicles were secured under a World Bank project in which 90% was funded by it and the counterpart fee which was 10% was funded by Government of Ghana. Payments were, however, done in two folds.
He explained that the whole project cost over 41million Yen. However, 90% which was 37.2 million Yen was paid through Trust Bank in March and the remaining 10% amounting to 4.1million was paid on the day of delivery of vehicles in April 1996 respectively.
Alhaji Yakubu said GH¢23 million was paid fully for shipment and other things by the defunct Technical Services Department under the ministry.
When by the Lead Counsel for the commission, Dometi Kofi Sopkor asked if the Ministry owed AAL for servicing and maintenance, Alhaji Yakubu said "all services and maintenance were paid for as and when we go there".
He added that his ministry had no idea that AAL had sued and that AG had even written to them for comments because they do not have any business with AAL.
AAL had sued Water Resources, Works and Housing and 20 other institutions for their indebtedness of vehicles, services and maintenance in which judgment of over GH¢8 million had already been paid.
In another development, the Chief Director of Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Natural Resources, Prof Kofi Bruce Banoi Yakubu was also subpoenaed in respect of the AAL and Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEB).
He intimated to the commission that their search has been fruitful but as at now only scanty information have been found and prayed for more time to furnish the commission with all necessary documents.
Meanwhile, the Board Chairman for AAL, Mohammed Hijazi had already appeared before the commission and subsequently written a petition to the Sole Commissioner Justice Yaw Appau for payment of all outstanding debts by the various state institutions including Ministry of Employment and Manpower Development and 20 others.
The Sole Commissioner, Justice Appau, said it amazes him how Attorney's General Department and Ministry of Finance did not contact various institutions when effecting such payments for clarity.
Meanwhile, the Solicitor General refused to appear before the commission after it has been subpoenaed in respect of their role in the AAL case.
In a related development, the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Procurement Agency (GNPA), Douglas Yagra Kumasi says the GH¢4.3 judgment debt given to New World Securities (NWS) in 2010 was calculated on GH¢1million instead of GH¢450,000.
He said GNPA paid GH¢550000 out of the GH¢1million it owed NWS before the case went to court in 2001.
Mr Yagra Kumasi said this when he represented GNPA during the judgment debt commission sitting yesterday. He appeared in respect of a transaction between GNPA and NWS in 2004. Representative of Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Natural Resources appeared in respect of vehicles supplied to some state institutions by African Automobile Limited (AAL).
Also, representatives from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ministry of Trade and Industry and GNPA were there to brief the commission on their involvement in the case between NWS and GNPA.
The Commissioner in charge of Support Services at the GRA, Anthony Ewereko Minla could not furnish the commission with the tax commitment of NWS in the transaction it entered with GNPA.This was because the Ministry of Finance deducts the withholding tax and pays to the GRA.
He added that, the scheduled officer at the Ministry has been asked to search for the information demanded by the commission. The Acting CEO of GNPA, Douglas Yagra-Kumasi, briefing the commission on the transaction between GNPA and NWS said in 2004 GNPA borrowed GH¢1million from NWS to augment its capital, GNPA went into importation of sugar but the suppliers failed to deliver.
He said after the facility date of three months, NWS started demanding the money where GNPA paid GH¢550000 leaving GH¢450000 outstanding.
Mr. Yagra-Kumasi said, in 2007 NWS took the case to court and had judgment against them. The Director of Legal Affairs at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Kwame Fosu, said when the court ordered GNPA to pay GH¢4.3million to NWS, it intervened to beat the amount down to GH¢2.5million to prevent the sale of GNPA's head office to offset the debt.
According to the Sole Commissioner, Justice Yaw Appau, issues are not very clear with him so he subpoenaed GNPA and NWS again to verify the amount paid to the later since payments made were conflicting.
He also indicated that the judgment sum was also not clearly stated in the documents. He therefore asked the CEO of GNPA to appear with their lawyer on the next adjourned date.