A former Power Minister, Dr. Kwabena Donkor says the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Godfred Dame wants a scapegoat for the whopping $170 million judgment debt that the country has been slapped with for wrongful termination of the Power Purchasing Agreement signed with energy company, GPGC.
Mr. Donkor noted that since the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Tribunal issued its final verdict, the public pronouncements by Godfred Yeboah Dame reveals he is looking for somebody to blame for the situation.
“There are people who think that yes, as a nation we’ve done something wrong. At least the Arbitration people have said we went about something wrong. The court has upheld that position and therefore we must get somebody to hang these on. Hearing the public pronouncement of the Attorney General, he wants a scapegoat,” he said.
His comments come after Mr. Dame in an interview accused signatories of the agreement which was commenced under the former President John Mahama’s administration of failing to undertake conclusive work to protect the public purse.
According to him, some clauses in the agreement made government liable for paying a huge amount of money whether the deal became effective or not.
He further stated that as per the report of the PPA Committee, if all the agreements signed were allowed to take effect, each year, the nation was going to be exposed to payments to the sum of $586 million.
Thus, cumulatively, between 2018 and 2030 the nation was going to pay as much as $1.76 billion.
Mr Dame further disclosed his intention to lodge a formal complaint with the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to investigate circumstances leading to the signing of the PPA between the erstwhile NDC government and GPGC.
Adding that, a report by a committee constituted in September 2016 revealed that the agreement was not properly made since it could result in excessive power supply.
But in a sharp rebuttal on an interview on JoyNews’ UpFront, the former Power Minister said “you do not expect an Attorney General to sit on radio threatening, and intimidating.”
Describing the Minister of Justice as the number one officer of the law, Mr Donkor said he expected Mr Dame to be more decorum about his approach to the matter.
“He [Godfred Dame] has a responsibility to uphold the law. And the law is not just a written one, it is also the spirit. So even before inviting or hearing from your side, he is already on the radio assigning blame. And in all of this Agreement or review nobody has even asked me for a second ‘what was the basis of this agreement or even why you signed it,” he told host, Winston Amoah.
In February 2015, the GPGC entered into negotiations with the Government of Ghana to provide a fast-track power generation solution.
This was to see to the relocation of some GPGC equipment from Italy to Ghana, to alleviate Ghana’s then power shortage crisis.
In June 2015, the Mahama government and GPGC signed the power agreement, which was ratified by Parliament in July 2015.
But in April 2017, news emerged that the new administration was taking steps to review and terminate the existing Power Purchasing Agreements entered into by the previous government; insisting that there were no longer considered necessary to meet Ghana’s ongoing power needs.
GPGC protested and rejected Government’s purported termination of the agreement.
Between March and April 2018, exchanges between GPGC and government ended with an indication from the Deputy Minister of Power, William Owurako Aidoo that the President of Ghana had given verbal approval to the reinstatement of the agreement and that the Minister was “actively working” with the Attorney-General to resolve the issue.
GPGC then resumed work at its site. In July 2018, however, GPGC was informed by the Deputy Minister for Power that the agreement was not to be reinstated and that GPGC must negotiate a new agreement.
By August 2018, GPGC accepted government’s repudiation of the agreement. GPGC then decided to drag Government to the Arbitral Tribunal in London as provided for in the agreement.
Read more on the PPA: Controversial Judgment Debt: Power Purchasing Agreement between Ghana and GPGC explained
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