$15.3m galamsey judgement against government annulled

Courtgavel 1.png General damages of GH¢500,000 and a cost of GH¢100,000 were also awarded against the state

Tue, 3 Aug 2021 Source: 3news.com

A Kumasi High Court has set aside its own judgment of July 30, 2020, against the government of Ghana.

The Court on Friday, July 30, exactly a year after the judgment, held that a superior court indeed has inherent jurisdiction to set aside its own judgment when same was plainly entered without jurisdiction or is offensive to any provision of the laws of Ghana.

On July 30, 2020, His Lordship Justice Samuel Diawuo slapped a $15.3 million judgment against the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the unlawful seizure of machinery, equipment, and monies belonging to mining firm Heritage Imperial Company by an Inter-Ministerial Committee Against Illegal Mining.

Justice Diawuo ordered the recovery of the sum of $15,304,714.20 as being the value of the machinery and equipment seized by the task force in 2018.

General damages of GH¢500,000 and a cost of GH¢100,000 were also awarded against the state.

However, the government represented by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, on Tuesday, July 13 filed an application for the judgment to be set aside.

He argued that the plaintiff’s action was without regard to the mandatory statutory stipulations of the State Proceedings Act, 1998 (Act 555) and so unlawful.

He further argued that the payment of $15.3 was manifestly unlawful and without basis as no endorsement on the writ of summons issued in action supported the same.

He said the plaintiff also failed to indicate whether the claims against the defendants were either jointly and severally or jointly or severally.

In pronouncing judgment, it was held that to the extent that High Court had no jurisdiction to consider the claim before it, the judgment of July 30, 2020, was a nullity and would be set aside.

Source: 3news.com
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