Ghana has been slapped with $134million judgment debt over the cancellation of of the Emergency Power Agreement with GCGP Limited and renowned veteran journalist, Kwaku Baako in answering a question by Host of Good Morning Ghana show, Randy Abbey this morning, as to why Ghana has arrived as this point, was emphatic, "this judgement debt has been occasioned by the termination of the contract by the AG's Office."
Kwaku Baako was however quick to add that, "I do not want to get personal Godfred Dame(), as I am looking rather at the office (the Attorney General's office)," he added.
The ruling by the International Court of Arbitration ordered the government to Ghana to pay to “GPGC the full value of the Early Termination Payment, together with Mobilization, Demobilization and preservation and maintenance costs in the amount of US$ 134,348,661, together also with interest thereon from 12 November 2018 until the date of payment, accruing daily and compounded monthly, at the rate of LIBOR for six-month US dollar deposits plus six per cent(6%).”
Still been discussed LIVE on Metro TV, Kwaku Baako was of the view that, "even though this judgement debt does not have any fraud intentions, but rather, a seeming legitimate one, except that if not for the termination, this whole monies, that have to be now paid by Ghana, wont have been an issue," he said.
Interestingly, the Government of Ghana was also to pay GPGC an amount of “US$ 309,877.74 in respect of the Costs of the Arbitration, together with US$ 3,000,000 in respect of GPGC’s legal representation and the fees and expenses of its expert witness, together with interest on the aggregate amount of US$ 3,309,877.74 at the rate of LIBOR for three-month US dollar deposits, compounded quarterly.”
Ghana’s Energy Minister in cancelling the deal said the decision was justified because among other things, GPGC had started construction activities on site without siting and construction permits and those activities were illegal, however, all these defense fell flat during the trial processes, hence occasioning the judgement debts awarded against the country.
In the same vein of allying the blame on the AG, Godfred Dame, who before this massive defeat, had built a reputation as a case winning lawyer, may have suffered this great defeat at the much higher and renowned international court, as Professor and Lawyer, Prof. Kwaku Azar has criticized the Attorney General and other persons hired to protect the country against the payment of the judgement debt to GPGC, slept on the job.
Sharing his thoughts on this sad development, which he bemoaned, Professor Asare in a Facebook post that has since gone viral and attracted hundreds of reactions said:
“We have an Attorney-General Department. We have hired and paid two foreign law firms, Omnia Strategy and Volterra Fietta. Yet, we fell asleep and did not take advantage of the 28-day window afforded us to challenge the arbitration panel’s decision that we should pay $170M to GPCG for terminating a contract.
Omnia appeared in court on Day 25 to ask for an extension of 56 days. The court was kind to grant the extension but not for the full 56 days and set March 8, 2021 as the new deadline. The government then found better things to do only to show up with a filing on April Fool’s day, this time represented by Volterra Fietta, with the excuse that it had been delayed by COVID and general elections.
The judge shut the door describing the delay as “significant and substantial” and the excuses as “unreasonable and intrinsically weak.” What is dis? I just do not understand why we do these things to ourselves. Setting aside the reasons for the termination, which require a separate inquiry, the Attorney General and the foreign law firms should be held accountable for this inexcusable delay that has potentially cost us the opportunity to appeal the arbitration decision," he wrote.
Interestingly however, the Attorney General Godfred Dame has rather criticized Former Deputy Minister of Power John Jinapor following the $170million judgement debt to the Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC), as according to Mr Dame, the decision by the signatories to sign such an agreement was uninformed.
“The fundamental question that we asked is why the agreement was entered into in the first place? Why did John Jinapor and his former boss execute the signatory of this agreement and afterwards set up a committee to review those agreements? It is because you yourself had realised that this was going to result in excess capacity,” he said.
“Indeed, the cost was very, very monumental. As per the report of the PPA Committee, if all the agreements signed by John Jinapor and his former boss had been allowed to run, each year, the nation was going to be exposed to payment to the sum of $586 million. Cumulatively, between 2013 and 2018 the nation was going to pay as much as $1.76 billion,” he told Joy News.
Sammy Gyamfi also speaking on the Good Morning Ghana show, has called for investigations into this issue, which has directly lead to causing financial loss to Ghana.
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