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PIAC reminds government to refund $3.8m GNPC funds spent on maritime dispute

The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), the Constitutional body established to monitor receipt and use of Ghana’s oil money is reminding the government to refund an amount of $3.8 million spent on the maritime dispute between the country and Cote d’Ivoire.

The PIAC in its annual report for 2018 argued that the dispute was between two sovereign States and not between a sovereign State and a national oil company.

“The ITLOS dispute was between two sovereign States and not between a sovereign State and a national oil company for which reason it was wrong to have used GNPC’s resources to settle the cost of the litigation. The amount of $3.8 million spent by GNPC on the litigation should therefore be refunded to GNPC,” PIAC stated in the report.

The request was first made in the 2017 report of PIAC, but it appears the government is yet to settle the bill.

A Ghana Broadcasting Corporation report of October 2017 citing documents from Parliament, however puts the total cost of the litigation to Ghana at $9.7 million.

The maritime dispute between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire was submitted to a special chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas (ITLOS) which was formed in application of article 15, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the Tribunal by way of a special agreement concluded between the two States on December 3, 2014.

On September 23, 2017, the ITLOS ruled in favour of Ghana bringing to an end the dispute.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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