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General News of Thursday, 24 June 2021

Source: 3news.com

Godfred Dame ‘fires’ Jinapor over US$170 million GPGC judgement debt

Godfred Yeboah Dame, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Godfred Yeboah Dame, Attorney General and Minister of Justice

Attorney General Godfred Dame has criticized Former Deputy Minister of Power John Jinapor following the US$170 million judgement debt to the Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC).

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 US$586 million.

“Cumulatively, between 2013 and 2018 the nation was going to pay as much as $1.76 billion,” he told Joy News.

A London-based United Nations Commission on International Trade Law tribunal has ordered the government of Ghana to pay a contractually defined “early termination payment” of more than US$134.3 million plus interest and costs.

This follows the termination of the contract between the government of Ghana and an independent power producer, Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC) in 2018.

Meanwhile, a US-based Ghanaian Professor Kwaku Asare 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 development, Professor Asare in a Facebook post 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 US$170 million 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.”

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