Agyapa Deal: ECOWAS Court Slaps $750 Fine On Ghana For Late Filing Of Defence Against Suit

Agyapa Deal: ECOWAS Court Slaps $750 Fine On Ghana For Late Filing Of Defence Against Suit

  • The ECOWAS Court has slapped a $750 fine on Ghana for not filing a response to the suit against the Agyapa Royalties deal
  • Ghana's legal team had gone to court today to request more time but the bench granted a request by the plaintiffs for a fine to be charged on the state
  • Three anti-corruption agencies dragged the state to the ECOWAS court in 2021 for alleged procedural breaches in the way the deal was handled

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ECOWAS Community Court of Justice has slapped a $750 fine on Ghana for failing to file its response to the suit against the controversial Agyapa deal.

Three anti-graft agencies, the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), Transparency International (GI), and Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), dragged the Government of Ghana to regional court over the Agyapa deal fiasco.

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Ecowas court and Dame
Justice Edward Amoako Asante, President of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice (L) and Ghana's Attorney-General Godfred Dame. Source: UGC
Source: UGC

In July 2021, the three institutions filed the legal process to challenge the decision of the government to use Ghana's gold reserves as collateral for a loan without Parliament's approval.

According to a Citi News report, at an external court session in Accra today, Wednesday, March 23, 2022, Chief State Attorney Dorothy Afriyie Ansah told the bench that the Attorney-General's department needed more time to respond to the suit.

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She is reported to have requested one more week.

But the Counsel for the plaintiffs, Olumide Babalola, mounted a protest against the request for more time.

According to the report, he then pleaded with the court to slap a $1,000 fine on Ghana.

Ghana's legal team then begged for a reduction.

The court eventually agreed on the $750 fine (GH¢5,625).

The Agyapa Royalties deal became public in 2020 and was supposed to be the government's strategy to raise funds for infrastructure projects.

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The Nana Akufo-Addo government sought to raise funds through Ghana's vast mineral reserves through the deal.

However, the Special Prosecutor at the time, Martin Amidu, and other independent analysts exposed the deal for fishy clauses and murky arrangements.

Many Ghanaians, especially the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), kicked against it.

The government eventually cancelled plans for the implementation of the deal.

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Also, the government has announced that all the land borders, which had been closed since 2020, will be opened within two weeks.

There is also a plan to pump $2 billion into the economy to hold the cedi's fall against the dollar and other major trading currencies.

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