Court clears Senior Minister over $1m surcharge in Kroll deal

An Accra High Court has struck out a $1 million case brought against the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, and five others.

The five others are Michael Ayensu, Abraham Kofi Tawiah, Patrick Nomo and Eva Asselba Mends, all officials of the Ministry of Finance, and a UK firm, Kroll and Associates.

The surcharge was issued by the Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo, before he was asked to proceed on his leave.

In 2017, Mr Osafo-Marfo, on behalf of the government, signed a contract with Kroll and Associates for the firm to do value-for-money auditing on some projects and to also identify wrongdoers and recover the assets of the said wrongdoers.

Kroll was reportedly paid $1 million.

But after an audit of the accounts of the Ministry of Finance, the Auditor-General concluded that Kroll and Associates had been paid for no work done hence the surcharge.

But Mr Osafo-Marfo filed an appeal in the court to quash the decision by the Auditor General.

The court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, upheld two separate appeals filed by the Senior Minister, together with the five officials of the Ministry of Finance, and Kroll and Associates.

Justice Asare-Botwe said the Auditor-General failed to exercise his discretionary power to issue the surcharge in a “fair” and “candid” manner and without arbitrariness, as enshrined under Article 296 of the 1992 Constitution.

“I hold that the respondent (Auditor-General) failed to abide by the well-known rules of natural justice of giving the appellants the opportunity to be heard,” she said on Friday, October 30.

READ ALSO:  Use of technology in doing business has come to stay – Osafo Marfo

By Laud Nartey||Ghana