23rd July 2024

The Accra High Court has set April 1 to rule on a contempt application brought against the Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, by the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo- Maafo.
The judge, Justice Efia Serwaa Botwe, set the date after directing the two parties to file their written addresses and any other relevant documents by the 21 March.
The Senior Minister has cited the Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo, for contempt in respect of the case involving the $1m Kroll payment surcharge.
Mr Osafo-Maafo and four other applicants, who are officials of the Ministry of Finance, sued Mr Domelevo.

In the suit, he asked the court to, among other things, commit the Auditor-General to prison or, otherwise, punish him for his alleged contemptuous conduct in accordance with the law.
According to him, the refusal of Mr Domelevo to file the relevant documents and a reply, contrary to the relevant provisions of the law, is a “confirmation of our conviction that the respondent is taking the decision against us and the subsequent resort to media propaganda to damnify us and disparage our hard-earned reputation. He was actuated by malice and lack of good faith and without legal basis whatsoever.”

Background

The Senior Minister and four other officials from the Ministry of Finance initiated a court action against Mr Domelevo to clear their names in relation to what was said to be breaches of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) that allegedly resulted in the payment of US$1 million to a private firm, Kroll and Associates.
The Auditor-General had concluded that Kroll was paid for no work done, following what he said was the persistent failure by the Senior Minister to provide proof of actual work done.

Mr Domelevo consequently recommended disallowance of the payment of the $1million to Kroll and Associates, which the government, through the Ministry of Finance paid. In addition, he surcharged Mr Osafo-Maafo and four other officials from the Finance Ministry.

The Auditor-General had indicted the Ministry of Finance and the Senior Minister for paying the UK firm in 2017 to recover assets from identified wrongdoers, among others, without verifying outcomes.
To this end, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, in a statement, indicated that he was resorting to the courts 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.”

SOURCE: Daily Statesman

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