General News of 2013-12-22

AG’s attempt to retrieve Isofoton cash hits a snag

The clamour to retrieve monies illegally paid to Waterville and Isofoton in judgement debt may delay a while longer because the Appeals Court has adjourned the Waterville case sine die (indefinitely).
In the Isofoton case, bailiffs say they have not been able to locate the agent of the Spanish firm, Anani Agyei to serve him with the writ.
The Attorney General is seeking to enforce a Supreme Court ruling in favour of Martin Amidu which ordered Waterville and Isofoton to refund monies illegally paid to them in judgement debts.
But Waterville sought a stay of execution at the Accra High Court in a bid to have the matter arbitrated in London.
Lawyers for Waterville argued a portion of the contract entered into with government stipulated that in an event of any misunderstanding the case would have to go for arbitration before any legal suits would be contemplated.
But the Attorney General Marrieta Brew-Oppong argued per the ruling in the Martin Amidu case at the Supreme Court which said the transaction had no parliamentary approval and therefore was null and void, any clause within the said transaction must also deemed to be null and void.
Waterville cannot seek refuge in arbitration, she told the court.
The High Court upheld the arguments by the AG but Waterville was unimpressed and appealed the decision.
Speaking on Joy FM's news analysis programme Newsfile, the Deputy Attorney General Dominic Ayine said the case has been adjourned indefinitely. He however speculated that within the next month or two he expects the case to be adjudicated.
On the Isofoton case, Ayine said the agent is yet to be tracked and served with the writ but Ofori Agyei called into the show denying assertions he had been running away from the service.
He said the AG and her team know where to locate him to serve a writ or they can easily call him and he would come for the writ.
The state is expecting a refund of close to €47 million in monies paid in judgement debt to Waterville and a little over 300,000 dollars paid to Isofoton.
The construction firm (Waterville) was paid the amount after it argued that a valid contract it entered into with the NPP administration for the construction of stadia for the CAN 2008 tournament was illegally abrogated.
Isofoton also claimed their contract to provide irrigation materials to the ministry of Agric was illegally abrogated and demanded an amount of $1.2 million out of which a little over $300,000 was paid to the company.
However, former Attorney General Martin Amidu, who was fired by the Mills administration for alleged misconduct proceeded to court to challenge the claim by Waterville and Isofoton and demanded that the monies be refunded to the state.
The court upheld his arguments and ruled in his favour.
The Attorney General then went to the High Court to enforce the decision by the Supreme Court but is yet to make any head way.