A US-based Ghanaian Lawyer, Prof. Stephen Kwaku Asare, has applauded Broadcast Journalist and PR Consultant, Randy Abbey, for drawing the Attorney General’s(A-G) attention to the $15.3M galamsey judgment debt.
Prof. Stephen Kwaku Asare popularly called Kwaku Azar questioned Justice Samuel Diawuo’s diligence in the initial award of the $15.3M judgment debt, which “but for the vigilance of Randy Abbey would have escaped the knowledge of the AG, without inspecting the writ of summons for the specific relief.”
He called for a complete evaluation of the case to among others “examine who defended the AG, who are the real plaintiffs, why the State failed to cross-examine the plaintiff’s witnesses and how a high court judge could commit an error as fundamental as not inspecting the writ of summons to see whether the plaintiff has stated a specific relief and yet go-ahead to award $15.3M against the State.”
The Kumasi High Court has quashed its own ruling which slapped the government with a $15.3 million judgement debt for the unlawful seizure of properties belonging to a mining firm, Heritage Imperial Company.
This follows an application by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, which sought an order to set aside the court’s earlier ruling as null and void.
In May this year, Justice Diawuo awarded $15.3 million judgment debt against the government and ordered it to pay Heritage Imperial GH¢600,000.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, the A-G challenged the ruling at the same court, seeking an order to set the ruling aside.
It was the case of the A-G that the commencement of the action by the company, without regard to the mandatory statutory stipulations of the State Proceedings Act, 1998 (Act 555), was unlawful.
Again, he argued that the order for the payment of $15.3 million to the mining company was unlawful and without basis.
He further averred that the company failed to give a concise statement of the nature of the claim it was seeking in its legal action.
The A-G contended that Heritage Imperial, in its writ, did not claim the $15.3 million against the state.
“The relief of $15,304,714.20 granted by the court was a material and specific one, clear notice of which had to be given on the writ of summons and statement of claim,” Godfred Dame argued.
The court, he said, did not have jurisdiction to grant the relief of $15.3 million against the state.
In its latest ruling, the court presided over by Justice Samuel Diawuo, held that it had inherent jurisdiction to set aside its own judgement, as it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the legal action that led to the initial ruling.