ASEPA to petition CID to probe US$170 million GPGC judgement debt

0

The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), has stated that it will on Monday, June 28, 2021, file an official complaint at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), for a formal probe into the termination of the Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC) emergency power deal that has cost Ghana a judgement debt of $170 million.

On the same day, the group will lodge a complaint to report Omnia Strategy LLC to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) of the UK for criminal negligence for “deliberately blowing an appeal deadline leading to the judgement debt.”

That is not all, a similar complaint will be filed by ASEPA against Kimathi&Partners and Amofa&Partners, the two Ghanaian law firms involved in the arbitration at the disciplinary committee of the General Legal Council of Ghana.

ASEPA in a statement said its petition will capture “The then Minister for Energy, Mr. Boakye Agyarko, who unilaterally terminated the contract without recourse to the obligations of the State under the termination clause, the former Attorney General Madam Gloria Akuffo who decided to push this matter to arbitration when the State could have reached an amicable settlement with GPGC, that would have cost the country even less and finally against the current Attorney General, Godfred Dame who blew an appeal deadline that could have saved this country millions of dollars”.

The civil society organization has described the $170 million judgement debt slapped on the government as unfortunate and a clear sign of negligence and lack of respect for contractual agreements.

It thus believes a public inquiry into the deal will bring finality to the matter.

Full demands

Among other things, ASEPA demands an immediate suspension of the Solicitors Licence of Omnia Strategy LLC until investigations into the matter are completed.

It also wants Omina Strategy LLC to refund all legal fees paid to it by the government of Ghana.

In addition, ASEPA is asking SRA [Solicitors Regulatory Authority] to conduct a full-scale investigation into LLC’s involvement in the GPGC arbitration fiasco.

A former Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, has justified the government’s decision to terminate the power agreement, insisting that he is not responsible for the turn of events.

According to him, the country would have lost more from excess power generation if the agreement had remained.

For that reason, he insists that Ghana is “better off” with this judgement debt.

Former Power Minister, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, under whose tenure the deal was signed, has said he is ready to answer any question regarding the signing and subsequent abrogation of the agreement.

He said he is ready to face the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), and subject himself to any form of investigation into the propriety of the deal.

 

About the arbitration

The GPCC dragged the government of Ghana to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) after an official termination in 2018, demanding compensation from the government for a breach of the contract.

The court subsequently awarded the company an amount of $170 million to be paid by Ghana.

Ghana challenged the arbitration award in a UK court, but could not meet the deadlines to file its case citing the COVID-19 pandemic among others as reasons for the delay.

The news has sparked serious conversations, with many calling for the prosecution of the officials involved in the termination.

Others have also suggested that Mr. Boakye Agyarko, who was the then Energy Minister, failed to engage extensively in exploring other options instead of a cancellation of the agreement

But the Attorney General, Godfred Dame, has stated that processes are underway to thoroughly probe circumstances that led to judgement debt.

Source link