Policy Research and Advocacy organization, Development Data says the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has contravened the nation’s Public Procurement Act with the payment of the legal fees to its lawyers.
According to the organization, the NPA must take immediate steps to retrieve all payments made to the lawyers, Mr Ace Ankomah and Mr Dominic Ayine.
It will be recalled that Lawyers for Development Data, withdrew a case it filed against the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and Tema Oil Refinery as a result of the failure to serve the NPA, TOR and the other respondents with the entry of judgment.
Development Data in the suit claimed the ex-refinery differential component of the ex-refinery price imposed by the NPA was illegal.
Communications Director for Development Data, Nana Kofi Oppong-Damuah in an interview with Citi News says the NPA failed to comply with the Public Procurement Act because they were in a rush.
"The section 14 of the Public Procurement Act states exactly what is to be done, in terms of recruiting services of individuals; the particular service that was provided by these lawyers falls under the remit of things that should have gone for public procurement", he said.
Nana Kofi Oppong-Damuah noted that "it did not go under public procurement; they did it in a rush.
If you want to be excused from it, there are measures through which you are supposed to go to, and those have not also been done.
For the very little work which was done, the amount of money that is being demanded and that is about to be paid to the lawyers in question is quite huge or in other words, gargantuan".
He added "we are advising is what is wrong is wrong, and no matter what, do the right thing".
The Development Data Communications Director further explained that "what we are trying to say is that, a series of illegal actions have taken place which always come back to bite the people of Ghana.
And so this is wrong and we are advising them to do the right thing before it goes down another path.
You must bear in mind that whenever we go to court to win cases, the state incurs cost.
We are trying to avoid all of these together with the backlashes and thing like that."
"We believe that we are all rational human beings who if we are told the right thing, and we look at it carefully, we should be able to correct our mistakes and that is what we are giving the NPA an opportunity to do", he emphasised.
When Citi News contacted the lawyers in question for comment, they pointed out that Development Data could exercise its options of suing to enforce the public procurement act.
By: Philip Kofi Ashon/citifmonline.com/Ghan