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Auditor General found guilty of contempt; Court cautions him

An Accra High Court presided over by Justice Afia Asare Botwe has found Auditor General Daniel Domelovo guilty of contempt.

The court held that the reason given by Mr Domelovo that he was busy finishing up an audit report for parliament hence his failure to respond to an appeal seeking to set aside a surcharge is “untenable and an afterthought.”

The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, is in court asking that Mr Domelovo be punished for failing to respond to his case challenging a $1 million surcharge on him.

His lawyers want the court to either impose a prison term or any appropriate sanctions against Mr Domelovo.

The Auditor General’s office had insisted that Yaw Osafo Maafo wrongfully caused $1 million to be paid a UK-based consultancy firm, Kroll and Associates, to undertake investigations on behalf of the government.

He has pointed out, there was no valid contract between the UK Company and the Ghana government when Kroll & Associates began work in 2017.

The Commercial Division of the High was earlier hearing the case but the Chief Justice called for the case document after a referral from the manager of the court.

A statement released by the Judicial Secretary explained that the case docket was requested by the Chief Justice to correct key filing errors.

It added the case should have been filed at the Financial and Economic Division instead of the Commercial Division.

The office, therefore, transferred the case to one of the court’s in the division presided over by Justice Afia Asare Botwe.

Justice Botwe in her ruling said the law requiring that the Auditor General responds to appeals to his surcharge within 14 days is good law.

She also stated that evidence before the court shows that Mr. Domelovo was properly served and his failure to respond was willful.

Lawyer for the Auditor General Thaddeus Sory pleaded with the court to be lenient in sentencing after the guilty ruling.

Justice Botwe said the court notes the important role the Auditor General plays and doesn’t want to discourage him.

She, however, said his office is always late in responding to such appeals. She then opted to rather a caution and discharge him.

Source: myjoyonline.com



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