Judicial debts become a constitutionalized money laundering route – according to Barker-Vormawor


Cambridge University Law Researcher Mawuse Oliver Barker-Vormawor has argued that court debts are emerging as a constitutional avenue for money laundering in Ghana.

He believes that the lack of seriousness attached to the processing of international arbitration requests has deprived the State of resources that could have been channeled towards development projects.

Addressing Samson Lardy Anyenini, host of JoyNews NewsOn Saturday, Mr Barker-Vormawor alleged that the phenomenon has become an ingrained framework used by public actors to deliberately defraud the state with huge sums of money.

He lamented the state’s failure to institute protocols and mechanisms to avoid paying avoidable debts. The situation, he said, if left unchecked, will plunge Ghana into a serious financial crisis.

“Judicial debts become constitutionalized money laundering avenues because it is the only thing where once the sentence is rendered, there is no way to challenge it. It becomes clean money. For people to use this as a framework to intentionally defraud the state. This is something we need to talk about. This is something that Judge Appau’s report is aimed at, ”he said.

Mr Barker-Vormawor’s comment comes after a London-based United Nations Commission on International Trade Law tribunal issued its final award, ordering the government of Ghana to pay $ 170 million in damages to Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC) for failing to meet deadlines to challenge unlawful breach of contract between the two parties.

The Cambridge law researcher also raised concerns about the government’s reliance on foreign law firms which are detached from the historical facts of the case in question and who may not be in a better position to deal with it. provide sound advice.

He proposed the training of local lawyers, in particular to the public prosecutor, so that they can manage international arbitrations.

“I think that this particular problem that is happening now is also related to the lack of professionalization, even of international arbitration at the office of the GA. So anything international, we tend to look to scavengers and parachuted foreign law firms to make millions of dollars at the expense of an impoverished Justice Department.

The Cambridge researcher also raised issues with institutional documentation. He alleged that government officials, including their foreign partners involved in the GPGC arbitration, used their private email addresses to receive public correspondents.

Mr Barker-Vormawor called on Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame to take steps to put in place measures to reduce the number of judgment debts against the state.


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