GBC likely to face over ¢2.4m judgement debt for terminating former Director-General’s appointment
There is a pending judgement debt case of over ¢2.4 million against the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) due to the termination of the contract of its former Director-General, William Ampem-Darko.
A court awarded the cost against GBC after Mr Ampem-Darko sued the National Media Commission (NMC) for wrongful termination of his contract in 2011.
This is contained in the Auditor-General’s report on public boards, corporations and statutory institutions for 2021.
The Auditor-General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, said during his team’s review of records at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) for 2015 and 2018 audits, it noted that the NMC – being the appointing authority of the Director-General of GBC – appointed William Ampem-Darko as the Director-General of GBC for a six-year contract effective July 2, 2007, to July 2013
However, the then Chairman of NMC, Kabral Blay-Amihere, terminated his appointment with immediate effect in 2011, 27 months before the expiration of his contract.
Records indicated that Mr Ampem-Darko in 2011 sued NMC and attached GBC and obtained a court judgement of ¢2,492,566.43 in his favour of which the financial burden is on Ghana Broadcasting Corporation to pay.
The GBC and NMC appealed against the decision of the court in 2020.
The audit team on June 29, 2021, wrote to the National Media Commission, requesting it to provide the Auditor-General with the basis for the termination of Mr Ampem-Darko’s appointment.
At a meeting, the Executive Secretary of NMC indicated to the audit team that the Commission has appealed against the decision of the court; hence, the Commission would continue to explore all legitimate means before the case would be finally determined by the court.
Mr Kabral Blay-Amihere also opined that the Commission did what was constitutionally right within its remit in terminating the appointment of William Ampem Darko.
GBC is likely to suffer the burden, should the court rule in favour of the plaintiff.
This would further worsen the delicate financial situation of the Corporation and may result in loss of resources to the state.
The Auditor-General urged the NMC and GBC to see to the speedy trial of the case to bring finality to the protracted case.