Seidu Agongo, the businessman who is currently on trial for allegedly conspiring with ex-Cocobod Chief Executive, Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, to cause financial loss to the state, has lost a matter of arbitration he initiated against the Cocobod.
Had he been successful at the arbitration, Seidu Agongo’s three companies were going to take home not less than a whopping $46.460 million sought as reliefs against the state agency for the supply of fertilizers in 2016 alone.
The companies involved were Agricult Ghana Limited, Sarago Limited and Alive Industries Limited.
DAILY GUIDE sources said a three-member panel with eminent international arbiter, Nana Dr. S.K.B. Asante as chairman, in a unanimous decision, held that there were no proper testing protocols done before the purported supply of the fertilizers by Seidu Agongo’s companies.
“Based on the pleadings, evidence and submissions referred to above, the Tribunal determines the specific reliefs sought by the claimants as follows: The Tribunal dismisses the claims of the claimant in their entirety and denies all the reliefs sought by the Claimant.”
It further said: “The Tribunal lacks the competence to determine the issue of the liability of the claimants under AFRCD 58 as pleaded by the Respondent (Cocobod).”
The source further said that the Tribunal held that “each of the parties shall bear its own cost of arbitration, including legal fees.”
According to the source, before empanelling the three-member committee of arbitrators, Seidu Agongo had selected Kizito Beyuo while Cocobod picked former CHRAJ boss, Justice Francis Emile Short and the two prominent arbiters picked Nana Dr. S.K.B. Asante as the chairman.
Seidu Agongo, the source said, was represented by former GBA President, Benson Nutsukpui while Cocobod used prominent lawyer, Phillip Addison, as its counsel.
In Seidu Agongo’s reliefs, he had sought the tribunal to declare that “Cocobod’s conduct in failing and or refusing to take delivery of the products is in breach of the Supply Contracts between the parties.”
He wanted an order to Cocobod to take delivery of the products and also an order to the state agency to pay Agricult Ghana Limited $26.5 million which he said was the agreed contract price for the supply of 1,000,000 litres of Lithovit Liquid Fertilizer which the company made available to Cocobod, per the agreement signed.
Seidu Agongo also sought that Cocobod should be ordered by the Tribunal to pay $14 million being the agreed contract price for the supply of 400,000 bags of Duapa Fertilizer made available by Sarago Limited and which Cocobod failed to take delivery of .
Alive Industries Reliefs
He further sought an order to pay Alive Industries Limited $5.960 million being the agreed contract price for the supply of 200,000 litres of Acati Power Insecticide which Alive Industries has made available to Cocobod in accordance with the terms of the agreement between the company and Cocobod which Cocobod has refused to take delivery of.
Further reliefs sought by Seidu Agongo, according to the source, was an order for Cocobod to pay the three companies the cost of warehousing of the products from 1st April 2017 till date.
Seidu Agongo also wanted “post-award interest on all sums found due the claimants by the Tribunal from the date of the award till the date of the final payment at the prevailing commercial bank rate.”
He also sought an order to compel Cocobod to pay the companies “all costs in connection with this arbitration including but not limited to any administrative charges, fees, and or expenses of the arbitrators, experts, consultants, witnesses and any other costs incurred in any further testing of the products.”
Seidu Agongo also asked for an order to pay his companies’ “legal fees on full indemnity basis in the sum equivalent to 20% of all the contract sums and costs of warehousing of the products found due to the claimants by the Tribunal being legal fees agreed by the claimants based on the approved Ghana Bar Association Scale of Fees; and granting any other reliefs to the claimant as the Tribunal might deem appropriate.”
It emerged that the companies involved in the arbitration had been supplying fertilizer to Cocobod during the Mahama-led NDC administration and that had been done in 2014 and 2015 until 2017 when the new NPP administration queried the supplies for 2016 and caused the investigation to be conducted into the matter.