The Attorney-General (A-G) and Minister of Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, has commended his team of attorneys for their support in helping to avoid and overturn a series of judgment debts that could have caused the state millions of Ghana cedis.
He said he was ushered into office with a huge judgment debt of $170 million waiting for him, which was reported in January this year, a time when there was no A-G in office. However, with the support of his team of attorneys, his office worked to overturn and avoid many of the judgment debts.
Mr Dame made the commendation at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols of the Office of the A-G and Minister of Justice in Accra last Tuesday.
The minister was reflecting on the work of his outfit and some of the successes chalked up since he assumed office this year.
“We put our act together and won the PDS action and the Eni action against the A-G, and avoided many judgment debts; we counted our victories as the year rode on,” he added. Explaining the rationale behind his frequent visits to Norway, he said he was litigating in a court in Norway.
He announced that just last Friday, his office received good news that the Oslo District Court had dismissed an action instituted against the government in respect of the processes for the acquisition of an Embassy building in Norway (read the details in yesterday’s edition of the Daily Graphic).
The success stories, Mr Dame said, warranted the need for his outfit to be thankful to God for how far he had brought the ministry.
He also commended the Legislative Drafting Division for living up to its mandate by delivering numerous laws which would go a long way to reform the criminal justice system and help the government in the fight against corruption, particularly the Code of Conduct for Public Officers Bill, which had already undergone stakeholder consultations.
He further expressed gratitude to the Criminal Division for living up to its side of the bargain through the prosecution of cases to help stamp out crime and eradicate corruption.
The A-G explained that when he assumed office, the ministry was inundated with severe challenges, such as the acquisition of computers and desks for his officers.
But, he said, through an urgent appeal to the Cabinet, which saw the President directing the Finance Ministry to deliver support to his outfit, all those problems were swiftly attended to.
He added that 89 vehicles procured by the government would be delivered to the various regional offices and agencies of his outfit.
Mr Dame commended the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led administration for its tremendous support to the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice.
“If there is any government that has demonstrated any support for the office of the A-G, it is the government of Nana Akufo-Addo,” he added.
The Festival of Nine Lessons, which lasted two hours, thrilled dignitaries and selected people from all walks of life.
The night was not for legal jargons, which are typical of State Attorneys in the prosecution of cases, but a night for rejoicing, reflection and thanksgiving.
State Attorneys, judges and key persoalities, including the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia; the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah; a Deputy A-G, Mr Alfred Tuah-Yeboah, among others, read Bible verses, each of which was followed by melodious Christmas carols and Gospel songs.