President John Dramani Mahama has defended Ghana’s Attorney General, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, who has come under public criticisms in recent times over her handling of high profile cases involving huge sums of money.
According to President Mahama, the AG who is also his Minister of Justice, has done “a phenomenal job” in saving the country close to a billion-dollar in judgement debts, hence deserves to be given national honours. “I think the Attorney General has done a phenomenal job. I mean if you look at the amount of money she’s saved us from judgement debt, that lady deserves a national honour,” President Mahama said.
President Mahama said this in an answer to a question that sought to question the AG’s commitment in retrieving the GHC51 million wrongfully paid to businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome as judgement debt, which the Supreme Court two years ago ordered its retrieval.
This was when President Mahama took his turn at the GBC-organised Presidential Encounters Wednesday night to talk about his achievements in the last four years and why he should be given another four-year term in this year’s elections.
Many Ghanaians have called for the AG to resign for what they say is her poor performance on the job as well as claims that suggested she benefited about a million dollar from the Woyome judgement debt.
Despite the public criticism of the AG and the call for her resignation, President Mahama suggested Wednesday he was impressed with the performance of Mrs Brew Appiah-Oppong who he said has work relentlessly in fighting some fraudulent judgement debts. “I mean she saved this country nearly a billion dollars in judgement debts by fighting and contesting every case. I gave her a directive…that every judgement debt case, you fight it and so she has fought it,” the President said.
“There were a lot of fraudulent claims; people conniving with government officials, taking documents and hiding them, re-filing for compensation, suing government in court. I mean false contract. I mean I set up a commission to investigate…you should read the commission’s report,” Mr Mahama said.
President Mahama described the judgement debt situation in Ghana as a “very sorry state of affairs” but said, “happily, we’ve cleaned up and so if you come and make a claim against government, we are not go to sit and have a default judgement. Now they go to court and they fight you.”
According to the President, in most of the judgement cases that have come up, it was discovered that “some people have connived to try and rip government off”.