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$170m judgment debt: We hired people to work but they slept – Professor Kwaku Asare.



$170m judgment debt: We hired people to work but they slept – Professor Kwaku Asare. 46



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 $170million judgement debt to the Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC), slept on the job.

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.

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 $170M 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.”

Meanwhile, Attorney General, Godfred Dame has blamed the signatories to the agreement for this development.

He said, “the fact as borne out by the PPA committee’s report was that the agreement, together with other agreements, had resulted in such excessive power supply to the state. The state was going to lose $586m per annum and a cumulative cost of about $7.6billion dollars between 2013 and 2018.”

“So I think that when it comes to financial loss, it is so clear in my mind that the responsibility lies clearly with those who entered into the agreement. The basic point is that the entry into this transaction was unnecessary. The entry into this transaction was what resulted in financial loss to the state.”

He added that investigations will be conducted in this matter.

“I, on account of all of this, am going to write a formal complaint requesting an enquiry by the CID into the conduct of the public officers who acted in the manner which resulted in the signing of an agreement which resulted in financial loss to the state,” he told Joy News.