The Accra Commercial Court yesterday adjourned to today the Ghana Telecom sale litigation case to enable a witness to produce further evidence on additional money paid to the government.
The witness, Adams Nyenaku, an Assistant Director and Acting Head of the Treasury Department of the Bank of Ghana informed the court, presided over by Mrs. Gertrude Torkornoo that he needed more time to provide further evidence on the sale of the company.
He was answering questions on the fibre optic infrastructure in which six Ghanaians are challenging the sale of government’s 70 percent shares in Ghana Telecom to Vodafone International.
Led in evidence by Bright Akwetey, counsel for the plaintiffs, Mr. Nyenaku with 26 years experience as a banker, said an additional 63 million dollars was paid to the government on August 18, 2008 as proceeds for the sale.
Asked to produce documents on the additional payment, he told the court that the documents were in the bank’s archives and he needed time to retrieve them.
When asked whether he could produce the documents today, he replied in the affirmative.
Earlier, Ebenezer Nii Aryee Tagoe, an official of the Volta River Authority (VRA) told the court that a resolution was passed by members of the Board of Directors on the Valuation Report on Vodafone of which he was not a member and that VRA was not purview to the transaction.
The six Ghanaians, by Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, who initiated the case in October 2008, led included Michael Kosi Dedey, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, Naa Kordai Assimeh, Ms.Rhodaline Imoro Ayarna and Kwame Jantuah, all members of the Convention People’s Party, in their capacity as citizens of Ghana.
They are contending that the agreement entered into by the government offloading its shares was not in accordance with with due process of the law and thus a nullity.
They contended that, the sale and purchase agreement entered into by the Government of Ghana, Ghana Telecom (GT) and Vodafone for the sale of 70 per cent of GT for 900 million dollars, was against public interest and constituted an abuse of the discretionary powers of the government.
The plaintiffs argued that the decision by the government to transfer the assets, property shares, equipment among others, to Vodafone was obnoxious, unlawful and inimical to public interest, particularly when no compensation was required from Vodafone for the stated assets.
They submitted that the three Ministers of State and the managing director of GT, 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 plaintiffs are seeking reliefs from the court, including a declaration that the agreement entered into by the government was not in accordance with the due process of the law and was, therefore, nullity.
Plaintiffs are further praying the court to give an order declaring that the forcible grouping of autonomous state institutions established by law, that is, Voltacom, Fibreco, VRA, Fibre Network and VRA Fibre Assets with GT to form the purported Enlarged GT Group was unlawful and, therefore, void and of no legal effect.
Besides, they are praying for an order of perpetual injunction to restrain the government from disposing of the 70 per cent share of GT to Vodafone or any other foreign company, without first exploring other avenues for funding and better management in Ghana.