I wasn’t in office when $170m judgment debt was given – Godfred Dame

Godfred Yeboah Dame has debunked accusations that his negligence as an Attorney General caused the country a whopping $170 million judgment debt over Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC) contract termination.

In an exclusive chat with Francisca Kakra Forson, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice said he was yet to assume office when the judgment debt was given, therefore, he cannot be blamed.

“The judgment had already been given in January 2021 and there had been the lapse of an extension of time within which to appeal. I took the decision that notwithstanding the lapse of time we could go the extra mile. The extra mile was to file an application for further extension of time to file a challenge, so, I took the decision right after I was appointed.”

“My first working day was March 9 because March 6 was a statutory holiday in Ghana. Of course, it was a Saturday. The statutory holiday then fell on Monday, March 8, and that was the same day that the extension of time that the government of Ghana had been granted to file a challenge, if any, was going to lapse. It lapses on March 8 and I reported to work on March 9,” he said on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana.

Upon assumption of office, Mr. Dame said he took steps to challenge the high court’s ruling to save the country but the application filed was declined.

“I instructed the barrister in London that notwithstanding the failure of the previous lawyers of the government of Ghana to file a challenge we’ll also ought to at least test the situation by attempting another application for extension of time and that what was declined by the high court and somehow people have mischievously interpreted it or misinterpreted it to mean that it was my administration which defaulted in filing an extension of an application within the time given by the high court,” he intimated.

“At that time the first period given by the high court for the Ghana government to file an application if it requires or desired – March 8 the order was given way back in February I was not in office,” he insisted.

 

Background

In 2018, the GPCC filed charges against the government of Ghana at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) after an official termination, 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 Attorney General, Godfred Dame, has disclosed his intention to lodge a formal complaint with the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to investigate the Power Purchasing Agreement signed between the erstwhile NDC government and Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC).

 

By: Bernard Ralph Adams | Metrotvonline.com | Ghana

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