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ECOWAS Court to deliver judgment on AGYAPA deal July 13

The ECOWAS Court has fixed July 13, 2022, to deliver judgement in the case in which three civil society organisations are challenging the AGYAPA deal.

The panel of three presided over by Justice Edward Amoako Asante fixed the date after the applicants and the Attorney-General’s Department of Ghana made their submissions.

Transparency International, Ghana Integrity Initiative and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition have sued Ghana Government over the Agyapa deal.

The subject matter of the suit is the Defendant’s interference with the People of Ghana’s right to permanent sovereignty over natural resources guaranteed by Article 21 of the African Charter on Human People’s Rights and Articles 2(1) And (2), 3(1), 16(1) And 17(3) Of The Revised African Convention On The Conservation Of Nature And Natural Resources.

Arguments

In court on Wednesday, March 30, the lawyer of the applicants Olumide Babalola argued that there must be a proper consultative process for the deal to be transparent.

The Attorney-General’s department represented by Dorothy Afriyie Ansah, a Chief State Attorney said the deal will be beneficial to the people.

She prayed the court to dismiss the application as being unmeritorious and frivolous.

According to EIB Network’s Court Correspondent Murtala Inusah, the AG has also raised preliminary objections regarding the capacity and locus of the first applicant- Transparency International to sue government.

The panel said their judgement on the locus and capacity and the substantive suit would be delivered at once.

Applicants reliefs

  1. A declaration that the Defendant’s actions towards entering into a relationship agreement with Minerals Income Investment Fund and Agyapa Royalties Limited in respect of transactions surrendering the sovereignty of Ghana over its gold mineral resources in perpetuity constitute an interference with the right guaranteed under Article 21(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights as well as violation of Articles 2(1) And (2), 3(1), 16(1) And 17(3) of The Revised African Convention On The Conservation Of Nature And Natural Resources (revised Maputo Convention).
  2. An order restraining Defendant from implementing the Agyapa deal, and cancelling/terminating the already existing contracts.
  3. An order mandating the Defendant, where it desires to raise immediate funds from gold royalties, to restart the planning, impact assessment, consultations and other preparations in line with its international human rights law obligations.
  4. An order mandating the Defendant to undertake a thorough and impartial investigation into the alleged corruption offences and ensure that any alleged perpetrators are brought to justice and held accountable for any violations.
  5. An order mandating Defendant to immediately review its existing relevant national laws and policies to:

(a). Provide for adequate and effective safeguards against violation of the Right to Free Disposal of Wealth and Natural Resources by public officials and public bodies.

(b). Follow Revised ECOWAS Treaty’s fundamental principles enshrined in Article 4 paragraphs g) and h) and ensure compliance with its Article 31.

(c). Ensure that any entity with the function of sovereign wealth fund complies with the best international standards, such as the Santiago Principles.

  1. Other consequential order (s) as this honourable court may deem fit to grant in the circumstance.

Source: Kasapafmonline.com

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