The company is said to have imported the vehicles which were ordered by erstwhile National Democracy Congress (NDC) in 1999 and delivered in 2001 for distribution to district assemblies but were abandoned by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) when it took power in 2001.
The NPP said there was no contract between government and AAL covering the importation of the vehicles and that the vehicles did not meet the specifications for Ghanaian roads as that time, amongst others.
Speaking on Joy FM’s and Multi TV’s news analysis programme Newsfile, Kweku Baako questioned why AAL – which has been at the center of the $1.5 billion claims – have not openly spoken on the issue and wondered why government officials have been seen defending and justifying the actions of the automobile company.
According to Kweku Baako, Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is one of the top government officials who is championing the cause of AAL.
He further stated that the use of state owned media (Daily Graphic) to propagate the AAL $1.5 billion claims is a poor attempt at equalization which he said has failed terribly.
The Editor said government was seeking to create the impression that the inaction on the part of the NPP government (2001-2008) led to a judgement debt which is bigger than those paid to Alfred Woyome and Construction Pioneers (CP) put together.
According to Kweku Baako, the Serious Fraud Office in 2002 conducted a report on AAL and forwarded the docket to the Attorney General just as the the Auditor General also completed an audit report into the case all of which he said the government has refused to examine.
Deputy Information Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who was also on the programme, accused past NPP government of doing nothing to address the case while in power even if the AAL had breached its side of the contract.
According to him, after the NPP’s actions led to rise in cost, the NPP has turned around to accuse the NDC government of paying debts which they claim are unjustified.
Mr. Ablakwa revealed that government has engaged AAL in a dialogue with the aim of beating down their $1.5 billion claims on the 86 abandoned vehicles.
According to him, settlement negotiations with AAL is currently deadlocked. He added that the matter coming into the public domain was a result of the transparency in the governance system of the NDC.
Source Joy News Ghana