Court to decide on MPs’ suit

Mr Tony Lithur(middle),Counsel for GNPC in a chat with a  fellow counsel after the court proceedings in  Accra yesterday.Photo.Ebo GormanAn Accra Commercial Court   yesterday, adjourned the suit by the three Minority Members of Parliament against the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to today, to allow the plaintiffs to file a supplementary affidavit before the court.

The MP’s have sued GNPC for securing a $700 million loan from a foreign bank without parliamentary approval.

They are Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, MP for Tafo Pankrono, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, MP for Manhyia South and Samuel Atta Akyea, representing the Abuakwa South Constituency.

Lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Nana Asante Badiatuo, said, they had come across some documents of prominence to their case, and they would want to present it in a form of supplementary affidavit before the court.

Counsel for the defendant, Tony Lithur, agreed to the request of the plaintiffs.

The court,presided over by Janapare Bartels-Kodwo, obliged and adjourned the case to today, to allow the counsel for the defendant, to file his defence and also give a date for its ruling on the interlocutory injunction.

The plaintiffs are seeking a relief in a writ filed before the court to declare that the GNPC contracting, procuring, securing or otherwise acquiring or drawing down on the loan facility or any other loan without prior approval of parliament was unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void.

They also want a declaration that defendant’s decision to undertake a programme of projects without parliamentary approval was ultra vires and violates the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011 (Act 815) and was therefore, null and void.

Furthermore, the plaintiffs want a perpetual injunction restraining the GNPC and its agents from contracting, securing, procuring or drawing down on a loan facility of $700 million or any other loan from any financial institution, whether situated in Ghana or not or embarking on any project, works and programmes without prior parliamentary scrutiny and approval.

During the last sitting on Wednesday, December, 3, counsel for the defendant, Tony Lithur, informed the court, that their statement of defence was filed on Tuesday, but the plaintiffs were yet to be served.

By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme      

 

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