A letter authored by celebrated lawyer, Mangowa Ghanney, former Director of Legal at the Ministry of Finance, is upset that a photograph which represents her true likeness and image has been published alongside a news item which captured an official letter she wrote and signed while in office.
The said letter, written and signed by Mangowa Ghanney while she was still the Director, Legal at the Ministry of Finance, confirmed that West Blue Ghana Limited’s payment for implementing the National Single Window and Integrated Risk Management System contract at Ghana’s ports of entry was a fixed percentage of the final invoice CIF of all imports.
The now retired Mangowa Ghanney, personally called the Editor of The New Publisher on phone and said though she admits the said letter was authored by her and she stands by its contents, she was very upset the paper put her picture on the front page when it published a story about the said letter in relation to a current law suit West Blue Ghana has filed against the Attorney General and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Interestingly, lawyer Mangowa Ghanney, told the Editor of The New Publisher that she had not read the story for which her picture was published but the fact that someone had drawn her attention to the front page, she was demanding a retraction and an apology and had threatened to sue the paper for publishing her photograph without authorization.
When it was explained to her the ethical grounds under which the said photograph appeared on the front page, lawyer Mangowa Ghanney insisted that the paper should have published the photograph of the current Director, Legal (who did not write the said letter) or published the picture of someone from the GRA or even the Attorney General.
Mangowa Ghanney demanded that the newspaper should stick to the contents of the letter and her name but under no circumstance should her picture be published.
Mangowa Ghanney sounded upset and at a point, the paper’s Editor drew her attention to the fact that she was sounding rude and talking down with scorn and disdain.
The Editor requested to be treated with dignity and suggested to Mangowa Ghanney that the conversation be postponed until a time she would not be in an upset mood.
A subsequent editorial meeting decided that there would be neither a retraction nor an apology for by publishing a beautiful and decent official photograph of Mangowa Ghanney alongside a news story which highlighted an official letter she wrote at a time she served in public office as Director, Legal at the Ministry of Finance.
Though it is regrettable Mangowa Ghanney got upset, the aim of the publication was never to upset her and perhaps if she had read the content of the story before placing a phone call to the newspaper, she would not have been that worked up.
Mangowa Ghanney Letter
Mangowa Ghanney, in her capacity by then, as Director Legal, Ministry of Finance had written several correspondents in a quest to establish clarity on the exact mode of calculating the payment of West Blue as stated in the contract the company signed with the Ghana Government to implement the National Single Window project.
West Blue Sues
West Blue, on Tuesday November 14, filled a writ at an Accra High Court against the GRA and Attorney General, praying the courts to order for the immediate payment of its overdue arrears which amounts to GHC28 million.
The company, apart from demanding payment of its arrears, is further seeking the counts to grant an order that it should recover its installed equipment at the ports or “…or in alternative recovery of an amount of Four Hundred and Twenty‐Five Thousand United States Dollars (US$425,000.00) being the value of the equipment it procured to perform its obligations under the NSW Contract and the additional services it rendered from 1st January 2019 to May 2020, which the Defendants have retained”.
The ICT firm has explained that when it was given a Government of Ghana contract to implement the National Single Window (NSW) facility at the country’s seaports, airports, and land borders in 2015, it was stated in the contract that it would be paid an amount valued at 0.35% of the final invoice value of import consignments entering into country but after this contract was signed and agreed and the work done, the company was paid a reduced amount.
Despite the letter from the Director, Legal at the Finance Ministry, West Blue was still paid a reduced amount instead of the agreed and approved fixed percentage of the final invoice CIF of all imports.
The deputy Finance Minister at the time, Kwaku Kwarteng in a letter dated Jan 25, 2018, February4, 2019, and March 14, 2019, respectively alluded to West Blue’s contract price of 0.35% and subsequently reduced to 0.28% of the final invoice CIF value of all imports.