Supreme Court throws out Karpower case

Mark-Assibey-Yeboah-3The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision, dismissed  the case  brought before it against the government for allegedly breaching article 181 (5) of the 1992 constitution  in the Karpowership agreement.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for New Juabeng South, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, dragged the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to court for not seeking parliamentary approval before the Karpowership agreement.

Delivering the judgement, the court presided over by Justice Jones Dotse, said they have unanimously dismissed the case in its entirety.

He added that the reasons for the dismissal would be filed with the registrar of the court later.

According to his (Dr. Assibey-Yeboah) reliefs, upon true and proper interpretation of article 181 and section 5 of Act 815, the issuance of a bank guarantee of $100 million by the GNPC in support of power purchase agreement between the ECG and Karpowership without prior parliamentary approval amounted to the breach of the said provision of the constitution.

He added that the issuance of bank guarantee by GNPC without parliamentary agreement constituted a usurpation of the constitutional mandate of parliament as enshrined in Article 181 (1) and section 5 of Act 815.

The relief sought by the plaintiff states that the execution of the purchase agreement between ECG and Karpowership for the supply of 450 megawatts of electricity constituted an international Commercial transaction of which government was a party and failure to seek prior parliamentary approval amounted to unconstitutionality.

He further stated that the Minister of Power confirmed when queried by Parliament that the Government had issued a guarantee to support the agreement, adding that this was done through a letter dated February 3, 2015.

The plaintiff revealed that Cabinet approved and authorised GNPC, which is another State owned company to be the guarantor, should ECG default in its obligations under the contract.

It stated that the assertion that Karpowership Ghana Company Limited was a subsidiary of the Karadeniaz Holdings Turkish Company based in Turkey had not been denied.

It added that the government through the Minister of Power has on many occasions informed parliament that part of measures to resolve the energy crises was the arrival of the 225 megawatts of power, adding that this was as a result of the Power Purchase agreement between the ECG and Karpowership.

The MP further alleged that there was a presidential directive to the GNPC to be guarantor for ECG without recourse to the boards of the two companies, adding that the ECG could enter into an agreement on its own in furtherance of its objectives, however, the government was hiding behind this to avoid a constitutional requirement.

By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme

Print Friendly

Leave a Comment