Tread cautiously on AMERI deal – ACILA

Mr. Nyarko

Mr. Nyarko

Mr. William Nyarko, Executive Director of the Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA) is cautioning the government to tread cautiously on the Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI) deal.

His comment is coming on the heels when the majority in parliament is making moves to abrogate the $510m power deal on the basis of fraud on the part of the previous government that signed the deal to end three years of power crisis.

When the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government took over power, a committee was constituted and charged to review, restructure and recommend areas of amendment of the AMERI power deal.

The committee has recommended that the deal be re-negotiated or abrogated on grounds of fraud, after it emerged that Ghana was made to pay 150 million dollars extra in commission to AMERI Energy for the construction of the power plant.

But Mr. Nyarko held the view that Parliament is not following the proper process to cancel the contact since it is an international transaction which cannot only be subjected to domestic laws.

“This is an international business transaction which was ratified by Parliament and all conditions precedent to the coming into force of the agreement was met and or Ghana had the option to cancel the agreement under Section 3(b) of the agreement.

“This agreement being an international business transaction, a finding of fraud and subsequent rescission by Parliament (Parliament is not even following the proper process, it is the Judiciary that should be looking at the alleged fraud) will not invalidate the agreement,” he stressed.

Mr Nyarko noted that Ghana would still be bound by the agreement.

He explained that the Addison report didn’t address the fact that it is an international business transaction and that it is more complicated than merely using a domestic law approach in tackling the alleged issue of fraud.

Mr Nyarko indicated that for fraud to stick on AMERI it must have been perpetrated by the entity and not Ghanaian officials and quoted Section 2(c) of the AMERI agreement to buttress his assertion.

He urged the government to be mindful of the standard arbitration clause in the agreement, which provided a dispute settlement process starting with one expert review and determination.

Mr Nyarko cautioned that failing which the matter will be decided by three experts who will sit on the matter in London, applying arbitration rules. –ghanaweb.com

 

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