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General News of Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Source: myjoyonline.com

Gov’t to fight Waterville in court to retrieve €47m

Government is expected to mount a strong defense before an Accra Commercial court Wednesday, in its quest to recover €47 million wrongfully paid to Waterville Holdings Ltd.

The Deputy Attorney-General, Dr. Dominic Ayine will be leading government's team of lawyers to contest an application for a stay of proceedings brought by Waterville.

The company is making a last-minute bid to stop the Attorney-General from retrieving money the Supreme Court said it illegally obtained from the state.

The Supreme Court on June 14, 2013, ordered Waterville to return to the state an amount of €47 million it obtained from the state on the basis of a contract the Court declared null and void.

The case was brought by former A-G, Mr. Martin A.B.K. Amidu, who argued that the contract that formed the basis for Waterville’s claims against the state, and the subsequent payment it received, was unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court agreed. It therefore, ordered the firm to pay back the money.

As part of efforts to retrieve the amount, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, filed processes at the High Court in order to execute the judgment.

Lawyers for Waterville Holdings did not file a defence. They rather applied for a stay of proceedings and demanded that matter be referred for arbitration in London.

The application was dismissed and the company ordered to file its defence to the A-G's action.

However, Waterville Holdings has filed a fresh application, appealing against the decision of the High court dismissing its request for the case to be referred to the arbitration court.

Speaking to Joy News, Dr. Ayine noted that government had filed its reply, opposing the application, which will be argued out tomorrow.

According to the deputy Attorney-General, government does not "see how an arbitral tribunal outside this country and specifically in London, can now reopen the matter and determine whether or not we are entitled to collect the money from them".

Meanwhile, the Deputy Attorney-General chided critics, who have accused his office of not stepping up efforts to retrieve the wrongfully paid judgment debts.

According to Dr. Ayine, government is following laid down processes and procedures to retrieve the amount.

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