Waterville €47m In Parliament

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, was in Parliament on Friday to apprise members on the measures her outfit is taking to recover the judgment debts paid to Waterville and Isofoton, after the matter was taken to court by citizen vigilante, Martin Amidu, with the court ruling in his favour.

Waterville is supposed to pay back an amount of €47,365,624 to the State with interest, while Isofoton refunds an amount of $325,572 to the State, also with interest.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Bekwai, Joseph Osei-Owusu filed the question which made Parliament summon the minister.

The MP for Bekwai had wanted to know the steps the State was taking to enforce judgment in the case of Martin Amidu vrs Attorney-General and Waterville as well as the case of Martin Amidu vrs Attorney-General and Isofoton.

The Attorney-General, in her answer, said her outfit issued a writ of summons on July 29, 2013 in the High Court and an accompanying statement of claim to recover the Waterville money, with interest, but solicitors for Waterville also filed a motion on notice for stay of proceedings pending arbitration.

According to her, her office in return on October 29, 2013 filed an affidavit in opposition to the motion on notice of proceedings which the court ruled in favour of the Attorney-General and gave Waterville 14 days to file its defence to the original action the office had filed.

The Attorney-General said Waterville again moved to the Court of Appeal to overturn the ruling of the High Court but lost once more.

“Mr Speaker, in January 2014 the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of this office and dismissed Waterville’s application for stay of proceedings pending the appeal.”

According to her, the dismissal of the application for stay of proceedings pending appeal by the Court of Appeal had paved the way for the matter to proceed in the High Court and that her office would pursue the matter, using the appropriate legal processes.

When asked what appropriate legal processes her outfit would be using in order to retrieve the money quickly for the State, the Attorney-General declined to disclose this, saying, “I am not ready to discuss our strategies in public in order not to arm our opponents with our strategies for them to outwit us.”

The Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho, restricted supplementary questions on the issue, saying the matter was already in court and Parliament would not want to do anything prejudicial.

The MP for Bekwai, however, pleaded with the Attorney-General to brief the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs regularly on developments on the matter pending in court, which she respectfully obliged to do.