Exton Cubic Group judicial review case Feb 26

An Accra High Court has fixed February 28, next year, to rule on a judicial review application filed by Exton Cubic Group Limited, following the revocation of its mining license by the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry.
The court fixed the date after both lawyers of the group, a mining company, which wanted to explore bauxite at Nyinahin, in the Ashanti Region, and Mr Godfred Yeboa Dame, Deputy Attorney General, representing the Republic of Ghana, had argued their cases before the court presided by Mr Justice Ackah Boafo.
Exton Cubic Group Limited wants to reverse the revocation of its license by the sector ministry through a judicial review at the court.
The ministry in September this year revoked Exton Cubic license on the basis that the multimillion bauxite contract granted by the previous government was invalid.
Arguing the matter before the court, Mr Dame said Exton Cubic Group Limited has no right to come before the court since they had no mineral rights that the court should protect.
According to Mr Dame, the grant of mineral rights was not just an event of signing a document, adding it was a process that the law required that the participation of the sector minister and ratification from Ghana’s Parliament.
He said mineral rights were subject to parliamentary ratification stressing that “the contract that the applicant was referring to showed that he had no rights at all”.
Mr Dame argued that after parliamentary ratification, the contract ought to be published in the gazette.
According to him, the grant of lease to Exton Cubic Group Limited was not in the handing-over notes to the Transitional team as required under the Transitional Act.
Mr Dame contended that the mining lease purported to have been offered to Exton Cubic Group was not valid because the necessary procedures were not followed under the law.
The Deputy Attorney General said that the applicant had not demonstrated to the court why the judicial review should be granted, and prayed the court to dismiss same because it has no merit and the applicant should be slapped with punitive cost.
Mr Osafo Buabeng, who represented Exton Cubic Group Limited, prayed the court to grant the application for judicial review because mining lease properly executed by the state through the minister could not be revoked by a stroke of a pen, unless due processes have been followed.
According to Mr Buabeng, the revocation of the mining lease by the minister should have been based on recommendations by the Minerals Commission.
He held that various correspondence showed that the Minerals Commission gave its approval for the project.
Exton Cubic Group Limited, led by Ibrahim Mahama, brother of former President John Mahama, was controversially granted a long lease concession by the previous government, on December 29, 2016,  a few days for it to hand over power to the new government, after its defeat at the polls.
The company recently moved heavy-duty machines into the forest near Nyinahin to start exploratory activities, but was stopped by both the district and regional authorities after agitations by the youths in the area.
The Environmental Protection Agency also issued a statement, saying that the company had not obtained the required permit to enable it to mine bauxite in the area.

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