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Akoto Osei dares gov't over Bankswitch case

Former Minister of State at the finance ministry, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei has challenged government to proceed to court  if it suspects he is guilty and played a role in the 197 million dollar judgment debt awarded against the state in its negotiation with IT Firm, Bankswitch Ghana Limited.

Dr. Akoto Osei who also denied allegations that he held shares in Bankswitch Ghana Limited, insists the John Agyekum Kufuor administration did no wrong in entering the contract with the IT firm in 2005.

Speaking on news analysis programme NewsFile Saturday, the formr minister described as unfortunate, government's 'hurried' abrogation of the contract without going through proper procedures.

"If they think I have done something wrong, they should take me to court,”

According to him, the matter between Bankswitch has been going on since 2005”…and this mystery [abrogation of contract with Bankswitch] in 2010 is what has caused the judgment debt.

In his view, the actions by the current NDC aministration was avoidable.

The Ministry of Finance entered into an agreement with the company for the provision of a customers’ valuation software for the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, to help with revenue mobilization.

Bankswitch Ghana Limited sued the government of Ghana at The Hague, Netherlands for wrongfully abrogating a contract signed with the Finance Ministry to provide services.

Bankswitch Ghana Limited requested the court to award it 853 million cedis for the illegal termination of a contract it signed with the government in 2007.

But the court awarded damages amounting to 197.4 million cedis to Bankswitch Ghana.

Government's challenge

Meanwhile, deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed revealed on the programme that government will challenge the case and the amount.

"…In anycase, this case is being challenged, government is not going to lie low; government will not just pay,” he said.

According to Murtala, the contract was abrogated because it did not have parliamentary approval.
"The issue is not about the NDC abrogating that contract but the bottom line [is that] people disregarded what they ought to have done"

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