Ghana

You failed to properly defend Ghana in US$170 million judgment debt, don’t blame NDC

A former Deputy Energy Minister, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, has said he is completely heartbroken that all our hard work and singular focus to address our power challenges and ensure a stable electricity supply is being marred by a decision for a US$170 million judgement debt.

The Commercial Court in London has rejected a late appeal from Ghana against a judgement debt award of US$134 million in favour of a power contractor, The Ghana Power Generation Company (GCGP).

According to the London Court, the government of Ghana failed to apply and set aside the January 26, 2021 decision of the London-based United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Tribunal.

The three-member arbitration tribunal chaired by John Beechey, a former President of the International Criminal Court’s Court of Arbitration, and co-chaired by Prof Albert Fiadjoe, a Ghanaian academic, sided with the power producer and awarded almost US$170 million, including interest.

Out of the total, U$134.35 million represents the early termination payment claim, which itself is made up of US $69.36 million as an early termination fee, US$58.49 million for mobilisation costs, US$6.46 million as demobilisation cost and US$32,448 as preservation and maintenance cost.

The tribunal also awarded US$614,353.86 against the country as the cost of the tribunal, and costs of US$3 million against Ghana, being the legal fees expended by the GPGC during the arbitration.

Reacting to the issue, Mr. Armah-Kofi Buah indicated that the termination of the contract was initiated by the current administration and not the NDC as claimed by the Attorney General.

He said the government failed to properly defend the case leading to the judgment debt.

“How did this come about? The GPGC emergency power agreement was signed in July 2015, it had cabinet and parliamentary approval. The termination of the agreement leading to the tribunal award took place in 2018 under the current government. This was after Ghana’s failure to properly defend the case in court.

“I have heard the Attorney General’s hasty threats of investigation and prosecution. It is important to fairly study the events leading to the termination and how as a country we defended this case in court.

“This will allow us as a country to lay the responsibility where it belongs and learn clear lessons from this,” he posited.

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