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We can't blame judges for auction car blunder, their staff might be responsible - Maurice Ampaw

Maurice Ampaw And Alban Bagbin Private legal practitioner, Maurice Ampaw

Wed, 31 Aug 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Private legal practitioner, Maurice Ampaw, has said that the superior court judges that were implicated in the 2021 Auditor General’s report might not be responsible for the auction cars infractions they are being accused of.

The lawyer explained that the judges might not be culpable because they did not engage in administrative which are done on their behalf by the staff of the Judicial Service.

In a Neat FM interview monitored by GhanaWeb, Ampaw added that judges might have been informed that all the legal processes to purchase the cars were followed by the Judicial Service staff.

“To me, this clearly shows that some staff did not do their job well. At the Judicial Services, the staff members are different from the judges. The judges are limited in enforcing laws or in ensuring that justice is done and it is possible someone packaged lies for them,” he said in Twi.

“The AG’s report shows that this (the judiciary) is a human institution. It shows that there is no perfect human institution. It shows that we can all make genuine mistakes. It also shows that we all can rely on false information in life which when brought to your notice you will do the right thing.

“Because you will see a genuine document and you will act on it and you acted in good faith without notice of any irregularity or fraud and then later on it turns out to be fraud,” he said.

The lawyer made these remarks while reacting to the 2021 Auditor-General which cited 19 past and current judges of Ghana’s superior courts for acquiring state vehicles – a move that contravenes Regulation 158 of the Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I. 2378).

The said law, Regulation 158, provides that the Principal Spending Officer of a covered entity shall obtain the prior written approval of the Minister for the transfer, exchange, sale, donation, contribution-in-kind, trust and any other disposal of any vehicles of the covered entity.

It further indicates that any such disposal, lease and other action referred to in Sub-regulation 1 that is made without the written approval of the Minister, is void.

However, the 2021 Auditor-General's report states that the vehicles were “auctioned by the Service for GH¢1,023,507.96 without approval from the Minister of Finance.”

Some of the judges who were found culpable of the law included recently retired Supreme Court Justices Yaw Appau, E.K Mensah and Julius Ansah, all of who were found to have acquired state-owned vehicles contrary to the provisions of this law.

The Auditor-General has recommended the nullification of the auction of vehicles to the judges and wants the vehicles recovered.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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