Sale of Ghana Telecom: Court adjourns case to June 17

vodafone_gtThe Commercial Division of the Accra Fast Track High Court on Monday adjourned to June 17, the case involving the six Ghanaians, who sued the government in 2008 over the sale of Vodafone.

Ghana sold its shares of 70 per cent shares in Ghana Telecom to Vodafone International.

Mr Joe Ghartey, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who was the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice during the sale was expected to have appeared in court on Monday but failed to turn-up.

The court then adjourned to June 17 to enable the court registrar to serve the former Minister to appear.

The court action was initiated at the Commercial Court in October 2008 by Professor Agyemang Badu Akosa, Michael Kosi Dedey, Dr Nii Moi Thompson, Naa Kordai Assimeh, Ms Rhodaline Imoru Ayarna and Mr Kwame Jantuah, all members of the Convention People’s Party.

The six are seeking a declaration that the agreement entered into by the government in offloading its shares was not in accordance with due process of law and should be annulled.

They contended that the decision by the government to transfer the assets, property shares, equipment, among others, to Vodafone was obnoxious, unlawful and inimical to the public interest, particularly when no compensation was required from Vodafone for the stated assets.

According to the plaintiffs, the three Ministers of State who signed the agreement on behalf of the government did not exercise the level of circumspection required of them as public officers, in relation to public property.

The reliefs they are seeking from the court include a declaration that the agreement entered into by the government was not in accordance with due process of the law and was, therefore, a nullity.

They are praying the court to give an order declaring that the forcible grouping of autonomous state institutions established by law, namely, Voltacom, Fibreco, the VRA Fibre Network and VRA Fibre Assets with Ghana Telecom, to form the purported Enlarged GT Group was unlawful and, therefore, void and of no legal effect.

The plaintiffs are also praying for an order of perpetual injunction to restrain the government from disposing of the 70 per cent share of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone or any other foreign company, without first exploring other avenues for funding.

It would be recalled that at the last sitting on May 14, the Minister of Finance presented copies of the Sale and Purchase Agreement involving the sale of 70 per cent shares of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone in 2008 to the court.

The Director of Legal Services at the Ministry, Mr Paul Komla Asimenu presented the documents to the court, presided over by Mrs Gertrude Torkornoo, on behalf of the Minister.

The court gave the order at its last sitting when the minister or his representative failed to appear before it after the court had subpoenaed the minister.

When the case was called May 14, Mr Asimenu was cross-examined by Mr Bright Akwetey, counsel for the plaintiffs in the case.

When he was asked of the whereabouts of the original copies of the agreement, Mr Asimenu said he could not answer to that because he could not tell whether or not the ministry was in possession of the original copies of the agreement.

Rather, he explained, what the ministry had in its possession was a confirmed copy of the agreement which was downloaded from a CD ROM.

One of the agreements tendered in evidence indicated that the “sale and purchase agreement is supposed to remain in full force and effect for a period of not less than 999 years”.

Source: GNA

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