Ablakwa Turns Debt Collector
Deputy Minister of Information, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwah, has been named, yet again, as championing the collection of judgement debt, this time, by ISOFOTON SA against the Republic of Ghana, after leading the crusade for Africa Automobile’s $1.5 billion claim against the State.
After publicly posing as one of the biggest but subtle critics of the GH˘51 million Woyome judgment debt scandal, political commentators have expressed surprise about Mr. Ablakwa’s sudden u-turn.
Former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Martin A.B.K Amidu yesterday in an interview with Oman FM, an Accra-based radio station, stated that Mr. Ablakwa literally begged him to pay some $1.3 million to Spanish company ISOFOTON SA despite the case being in court.
Mr Amidu stated:“Okudzeto Ablakwa spoke to me when I was in office to pay this money.I told him I won’t pay, even if he knew the people and went to court.” He stressed: “He [Ablakwa] called me to say why didn’t we pay the money to Isofoton... as far as I’m concerned he was [pleading on their behalf].”
Mr. Amidu also revealed that the Mills-Mahama administration paid some GH˘400,000 to ISOFOTON SA despite the case being in court, and sometime in September 2010, removed the case from court.
“They decided to pay it when the case was in court. Who removed the case from court? Is it not their Attorney General? Why didn’t they contest it in court? So what legal basis have they to talk about a debt when they didn’t give the court the chance to decide it.
“A judgment debt which was in court before the change of government, you decided to write to the plaintiff to come for settlement. And then you agreed to pay them $1.3 million; you can’t turn round and accuse somebody, why didn’t you let the court decide? ” Mr. Amidu probed.
Mr Amidu wondered, at the time, why Ablakwa had usurped the powers of Mr. John Tia, the then Information Minister under whom Mr. Ablakwa worked, by calling him directly.
The prudent action Ablakwa should have taken, according to Amidu, was to pass the petition to his superior minister and from there steps would have been taken to get the petition to the office of the AG. “Ablakwa has overgrown his wings. Due to such actions of his, he undermined the authority of his former minister John Tia rendering him (Tia) virtually useless,” added Amidu.