May 21, 2024

The Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Finance has ordered the payment of US$20 million as part payment for a US$140 million judgment debt.

A letter signed by Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, dated November 11, 2023; ordered that the said sum be released as part settlement of the arbitral award to GPGC.

The transmission letter was published on social media by North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

Ablakwa captioned his post thus: “The Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/Ofori-Atta government claims it so broke that they cannot provide emergency housing for VRA-induced flood victims but fresh intercepted documents reveal that they have authorized the release of a staggering GHS230.5million (US$20million) to pay for a judgment debt they recklessly & wickedly created.

“I hope the Ministers who wrongfully terminated the GPGC contract and willfully caused financial loss to Ghana are preparing for the day of reckoning,” he added.

GCPC-GoG judgment debt

A High Court in the United Kingdom, months back, affirmed a judgment in favour of GPGC, a subsidiary of international commodities company, Trafigura.

The company sued the Ghana government over the termination of two power deals and was awarded a judgment debt of US$140 million by the court.

Ghana contended, however, that the company under existing laws had to serve the government through diplomatic channels contrary to a ruling that allowed them to use alternative service.

The High Court ruled that Ghana’s move to invoke the State Immunity Act provisions as basis for which Trafigura could not serve them judgment debt documents via post and email, was untenable.

Trafigura, via email, went through the finance ministry in serving the court documents with all correspondence duly acknowledged and court dates agreed as GoG asked its lawyers to engage with the company.

“Trafigura, a multinational commodities-trading company based in Singapore, is the majority owner of GPGC, a power company which secured the award in January 2021 after an arbitral tribunal found that Ghana had unlawfully terminated a contract for the installation and operation of two power plants,” Global Arbitration Review wrote in an October 13 publication.

In GPGC v The Government of the Republic of Ghana, GPGC was represented by James Willan KC and Catherine Jung of Essex Court Chambers, instructed by Stephenson Harwood.

Ghana was represented by Stephen Houseman KC and Luke Tattershall, also of Essex Court, instructed by White & Case.

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