Lawyer for Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, has revealed reasons for the judgement pronounced by the Financial and Economic High Court as regards the 1m Kroll case.
A High Court ruling Tuesday May 12, 2020, saw Auditor General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo charged with contempt of court over his failure to respond, within time, to an appeal by the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo.
Mr. Domelevo was supposed to respond to a petition against a surcharge asking the Senior Minister to pay back to the state some 1 million dollars paid to Kroll and Associates for its audit services rendered to the state.
The court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe described as indefensible, reasons given by the A.G, ie. that he was finishing a report for parliament to be laid in June 2020 and that he only saw the documents which were placed on his desk by his secretary, a month after.
According to her, evidence before the court showed that he had been rightly served and should have done the right thing.
She, however, cautioned him and discharged him without a sentence, an action many have raised questions about.
Explaining why Mr. Domelevo was not sentenced though found guilty of contempt, Yaw Oppong, lawyer for the Senior Minister said the rational for the petition was for the Mr. Osafo-Maafo’s name to be cleared and not for the A.G to be put in jail.
“We have what we call non-custodial sentences and that is a form of punishment. Even if you are cautioned to be of good behaviour or asked to forfeit your property, it’s a form of punishment and you have been reprimanded.”
“We had told the court that our client has never been so much interested in the [Auditor-General] being in prison so other remedies that will ensure the maintenance of the sanctity of the court [should be adopted], so the court should be lenient with him. The judge also made a very important statement in the judgment which said that especially in this period of COVID-19, I will not issue a hard-custodial sentence. That was very important and given that I think that is fair.” Lawyer Oppong said in an interview with Citi TV.
The Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo and four other officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, filed a petition against the Auditor General, Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo to clear their names in relation to what is said to be breaches of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) that resulted in their payment of US$1 million to an international private audit firm, Kroll and Associates.
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