General News of 2014-04-19

Bankswitch saga: Take me to court if you think I’m guilty – Akoto Osei

Former Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, has challenged anyone who thinks he is guilty and played a role in the $197M judgment debt awarded against the state in its negotiation with IT Firm, Bankswitch Ghana Limited, to proceed to court.

”It’s unfortunate that we’ve allowed this [to get this way]; if they [referring to Gov’t] think I have done something wrong, they should take me to court,” he said on Accra based Joy FM’s News File Programme on Saturday.

Dr. Akoto Osei was speaking on issues pertaining to the state signing a contract with Bankswitch Ghana Limited.

According to him, the matter between Bankswitch has been going on since 2005 “…and this mystery [abrogation of contract with Bankswitch] in 2010 is what has caused the judgment debt.

The former minister of state also noted that all the Attorney Generals since 2009 failed to contact him on the issue before advancing to abrogate the contract with Bankswitch.

Dr. Akoto Osei also denied allegations that he held shares in Bankswitch Ghana Limited. The Ministry of Finance entered into an agreement with the company for the provision of a customers’ valuation software for the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, to help with revenue mobilization.

Bankswitch Ghana Limited sued the government of Ghana at The Hague, Netherlands for wrongfully abrogating a contract signed with the Finance Ministry to provide services.

Bankswitch Ghana Limited requested the court to award it 853 million cedis for the illegal termination of a contract it signed with the government in 2007. But the court awarded damages amounting to 197.4 million cedis to Bankswitch Ghana.

Meanwhile, deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed revealed on the programme that government will challenge the case and the amount involved.

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