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Parliament takes up Balkan Energy case raised by Martin Amidu


Parliament takes up Balkan Energy case raised by Martin Amidu

Photo Reporting.....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."

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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 debate adoption.

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 Balkan Energy.

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 officer.

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.

From: Myjoyonline.com



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