The Attorney General and Minister for Justice Godfred Yeboah Dame is leading a government negotiation team with Singaporean commodity trading firm, Trafigura in a bid to arrive at a payment plan to cover a $140 million judgement debt awarded to them by a London court.
Trafigura was awarded the right to seize and sell property belonging to Ghana in the United Kingdom following the cancellation of a power purchase agreement in 2017.
Property belonging to the Ghana International Bank in London has already been attached for possible auction. However, Deputy Attorney General Diana Asonaba Dapaah assured JoyNews that her boss, the Attorney General, is on top of the situation and that all state property is safe in the United Kingdom.
“We are working on it because there is a lot that goes with litigation including settlement and I believe that very soon, we should be able to give you some good news on the outcome of Trafigura.
“We are clearly on top of it. The Attorney General has been to the UK to help resolve the matter in the best possible way which would be mutually beneficial to all parties involved,” she said. Last week, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland, Papa Owusu-Ankoma revealed that the Ministry of Finance has made some significant progress towards reaching a settlement.
Although he described the events leading to the action by Trafigura as unfortunate, he maintained that everything is being done to deal with the situation. “We will not get to that stage where these assets will be sold to defray the debts, because of progress made on reaching a settlement”, he said on PM Express Business Edition on November 2.
Meanwhile, as government negotiates to resolve the issue, former Energy Minister Dr. Kwabena Donkor wants President Akufo Addo to investigate the matter.
According to the Pru East MP, the explanations are not enough adding that a full-blown presidential inquiry alongside a parliamentary probe can help Ghana learn for the future as well as punish errant officials. “First of all, I call for two inquiries – one at the level of the presidency. The president must institute an internal inquiry to unravel what led to this. The cabinet is advisory to the president and not the final decision-maker of the land in terms of executive power.
“Cabinet is advisory to the president so the president in cabinet is a different business because then the president has the power. That is why I am calling on the president to institute an internal inquiry for two reasons – to know where we really went wrong in terms of the process and what lessons we have to learn as a nation at the level of the executive to avoid a recurrence going forward,” he said.
“Another inquiry at the level of the legislature since the decision to terminate was taken by the executive arm of government, it is the legislature that has oversight responsibility over the executive,” he added.