Lawyer Martin Kpebu has indicated that the government of Ghana should surcharge public officials whose negligence results in the country paying some judgment debts.
According to him, successive governments cannot run from judgement debts as long as it operates, but any public officials found to cause financial loss to the state must be held accountable.
“There are some things we can’t run away from as long as government runs. There will be judgement debt but some errant public officers may cause judgment debt, so if we find out it is the fault of a certain public officer we should surcharge them,” Kpebu stated when he appeared on JoyNews’ ‘News File’ programme.
He added “perhaps we should open the debate again on some of these judgment debts specifically to know how they were caused so that we will know if efforts should be made to surcharge the public officers involved. I think the law allows that.”
To Martin Kpebu, if such an action is taken, it will serve as a deterrent to other public officers so that they sit up to avoid causing the state financial loss.
Kpebu’s comment comes after investigations by JoyNews revealed that since 2017, the government of Ghana has paid in total, an amount of GH¢125 million as judgment debt.
The Highest Judgment debt, according to the report was paid in 2018, when the government of Ghana paid GH¢30.9 million to Jubilee Tractors and Assembly Plant Limited. This arose from a case filed against the National Security Council.
In 2017, however, an amount of 29.5 million cedis was paid to NDK Financial Services.
In total, the Akufo-Addo-led government has paid GH¢120million out of GH¢125million in total judgment debt between 2017 and 2020.
In 2022, however, an amount of GH¢2.8 million in judgment debt has been paid by the government.