Court rules on MPs suit against GNPC today

An Accra High Court would today rule on a case against the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) over the corporation’s attempt to secure a foreign loan totaling Seven Hundred Million Dollars ($700m) without parliamentary approval.

Three NPP MPs, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh and Samuel Atta Akyea, MPs for Tafo Pankrono, Manhyia South and Abuakwa South constituencies respectively, want an Accra commercial court to stop the GNPC, headed by Alex Mould, from acquiring a $700 million loan facility from a foreign bank.

The writ, filed by lawyers of the MPs – Faibille & Faibille –  want the court to declare that the GNPC “contracting, procuring, securing or otherwise acquiring or drawing down on the loan facility or any other loan without prior approval of parliament is unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void.”

They also want a declaration that “defendant’s decision to undertake a programme of projects without parliamentary approval is ultra vires and violates the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011 (Act 815) and is therefore null and void.”

Furthermore, the plaintiffs want a perpetual injunction restraining the GNPC and its agents “from contracting, securing, procuring or drawing down on a loan facility of $700 million or any other loan from any financial institution whether situate in Ghana or not or embarking on any project, works and programmes without prior parliamentary scrutiny and approval…”

In their statement of claim, the MPs averred that they got to know about the GNPC’s intention to secure a loan on November 10, 2014 when the Statesman newspaper reported that the defendant entity was set to contract a loan of $1.200 million to be repaid in five years and secured by oil belonging to the people of Ghana.

The plaintiffs said the GNPC confirmed in the statement to the media that it was indeed acquiring a $700 million facility at an interest rate calculated per three -month LIBOR plus 3.9% for a five-year term.

“Plaintiffs say that defendant is to execute the Loan Facility agreement on or about November 20, 2014 with the draw-down of $350 million of the Loan Facility on November 25, 2014.”

They claimed the GNPC’s action is in breach of the constitution.

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