The governing party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), is demanding the arrest and subsequent prosecution of Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, accusing him of causing financial loss to the state for his role as Attorney General in the never-ending Galloper brouhaha.
A couple of weeks ago, a Deputy Minister of Information, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, announced in a state-run newspaper that Ghana might incur a whopping $1.5billion judgment debt for an alleged negligence blamed on the previous NPP government.
According to him, even though the NDC 1 regime under former president Rawlings inported some 110 Gallopers, when the NPP government assumed power in 2001, it ignored outstanding contractual agreements between the government and AAL; hence incurring a one percent interest charge, monthly, on the vehicles, with accompanying demurrages.
Out of the 110 vehicles, 23 were initially delivered and paid for by the NDC administration before they exited power in 2001.
The remaining 87 vehicles arrived in 2001 during the NPP administration which refused to take custody of the vehicles citing some irregularities pertaining to contract documents on the vehicles among other reasons.
Documents available to peacefmonline.com attest to the fact that lawyers for Africa Automobile Limited, W.A.N Adumua-Bossman Chambers, sued the Government of Ghana in a Statement of Claim dated 25th October 2005, seeking damages for abrogation of contract, breach of repayment of a Barclays Bank loan and an order to compel government to take delivery of the 87 galloper vehicles which was at the mercy of the weather.
However, the NPP government, through the Attorney-General’s (A-G) Department put in a counter- claim to recover the monies that had been paid to AAL in 2005.
Contained in the statement of defence dated November 22, 2005, and signed by Mrs. Dorothy Afriyie- Ansah, the Principal State Attorney, the Attorney General outfit then, apart from denying “each and every allegations of fact contained in the Statement of Claim…” by Africa Automobile Limited, prayed the court for the “Recovery of the sum of ¢8billion cedis, being payment made to the plaintiff to facilitate the delivery 110 Galloper 4x 4 Station Wagon vehicles under the First Contract, less the cost of 23 units already supplied.”
The Principal State Attorney also prayed the court for interest on the sum of ¢8billion cedis from the date of payment.
But the NDC believes this whole set of rigmarole and the 1.5 billion being demanded by AAL could have been avoided had not Nana Addo advised the then Kufuor administration to abrogate the AAL contract in the first place.
Indeed on Saturday, a deputy Information Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, appearing as a guest on JoyFM’s Newsfile, presented a ‘contract’ signed between AAL and the government of Ghana regarding the orders for the Galloper vehicles.
The said contract, was a letter signed by the then Chief Director of the Local Government Ministry, SY M Zanu acknowledging the presence of a proforma invoice submitted by AAL.
The Deputy Information Minister argues the ‘contract’ exposes earlier denials by the NPP and insisted they (NPP) should be held accountable for the claims being made by AAL, adding that the NPP owes the country an apology for the contradictions they have made on the matter.
Then on Monday, a member of the government’s Communication Team, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, asserted that blame must squarely be placed on the NPP and the A-G at that time upon examination of relevant documents.