[ 2012-06-01 ]
Papa Owusu Ankomah, MP for Sekondi
Parliament takes up Balkan Energy case raised by Martin Amidu
Parliament, Friday, followed up on a recent
Supreme Court ruling asking it to enact a bill
that will bring greater certainty and clarity to
the law on what an international transaction is.
The Supreme Court gave the advice when it ruled in
the Balkan Energy case with the government.
Joy News’ parliamentary correspondent Sammy Darko
reported that the matter was raised in Parliament
by Papa Owusu Ankomah, MP for Sekondi during the
discussion of the business for next week.
According to him, the MP said that the matter has
been pending for a very long time and he thinks it
was time Parliament took up the issue and resolved
it once and for all.
Papa Owusu Ankomah in his submission made
reference to Article 181 of the 1992 Constitution
which states in Subsection 1 that "Parliament may,
be a resolution supported by the votes of a
majority of all the members of Parliament,
authorise the Government to enter into an
agreement for the granting of a loan out of any
public fund or public account.
"(2) An agreement entered into under clause (1) of
this article shall be laid before Parliament and
shall not come into operation unless it is
approved by a resolution of Parliament."
The matter, according to Sammy Drako, will be
fully discussed in two weeks' time and the House
will either amend the law by itself or the
Executive will bring an amendment before it for
The Speaker of Parliament, Madam Joyce
Bamford-Addo said the leadership of house will
look at the issue and respond later.
Former Attorney General Martin Amidu raised the
issue in a statement issued early on Friday.
He advised the government about the activities of
a public official he claims is using his influence
to broker settlement of the case with Balkan
Energy he says could lead to government needlessly
incurring yet another judgment debt liability.
Martin Amidu in his statement claims that one Dan
Markin, Chairman of the Ghana Railways Development
Authority but at the same time working on behalf
of Zenith Bank is trying to mediate a settlement
of the case between the Government of Ghana and
The case involves a power purchase agreement
signed in 2007 where Balkan Energy was to have
revived the Osagyefo Barge that had been lying
idle for several years, to produce electricity for
the country ninety days after the signing of the
deal. Checks suggest even though the company is
yet to supply any electricity, it had sought to
claim payments due it under the deal, which
payments government has refused to pay.
The case was referred to the Supreme Court from
the Commercial Court when the issue of the
enforceability of the contract against government
was questioned. The Supreme Court subsequently
decided that because the contract, being an
international business transaction did not go
before Parliament as required, it could not be
enforced against the state.
The former A-G, therefore basing his contention on
the Supreme Court ruling delivered on the 16th of
May is urging government to continue to pursue the
case pending before the Commercial Court because
he believes the state has a solid case.
He went on further to raise issues about a
conflict of interest situation regarding the
involvement of Dan Markin, Chairman of the Ghana
Railways Development Authority who is working as a
mediator on behalf of Balkan Energy. According to
him, his meddling in the matter violates articles
284 and 286(5)g regarding the conduct of a public
The former A-G also cites correspondence between
himself and the Chief of Staff indicating that a
settlement was being pursued even though
government had not sanctioned such a move. Mr.
Amidu in his conclusion has vowed to fight any
settlement of the case that is not in the national
interest with all his heart.
“The Government of Ghana has an iron clad case
against Balkan Energy (Ghana) Limited and it would
be unconstitutional to settle a matter arising out
of an unconstitutional contract when the matter
has been remitted back to the High Court to
dispose off as directed by the Supreme Court. In
conflict theory and practice structural violence
occurs when the resources of a nation or community
are expropriated by a few people for their
personal use and thus depriving the consolidated
fund and Government accounts of resources to
provide life-saving facilities for the majority of
the citizenry. It is violence that is very lethal
to the populace but cannot be seen with our naked
eyes as we see physical violence. Let’s save Ghana
from such continuing structural violence and
impunity” he stated.
Source - MyjoyOnline
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