A Legal Counsel at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, (MOFEP), David Agbelie, last Thursday, told the Judgment Debt Commission that his outfit had a genuine reason for not disbursing the $1.8 million Calf Cocoa loan.
According to him, Calf Cocoa International and two other institutions were to benefit from a Chinese EXIM Bank loan, but it was halted.
He explained that when Ghana went into HIPIC, one of the benefits was that all its debts should be written off by the Paris Club.
However, the Chinese EXIM Bank refused to write of the debt, since it was not part of the Paris Club.
Mr. Agbelie appeared before the Commission to tender documents pertaining to Calf Cocoa International, and the reasons for the inability to disburse the loan, which subsequently, went to court for judgment.
When asked by the Sole Commissioner, Justice Yaw Appau, as to whether the MOFEB went to court to defend the cases or not before the judgment was given, Mr. Agbelie answered in the positive that although they did have a genuine case, they lost the matter in court.
Again, when quizzed about how they managed to get money to defray the judgment debt, he told Commission that currently, documents were not available, so he could not tell how the debt was settled.
Calf Cocoa, which was a joint venture company between Caridem Development Ghana Limited and the Chinese International Company for Agriculture and Fisheries, proceeded to court as a result of the refusal of the MOFEP to release a working capital of $1.8 million to it.
Calf Cocoa International Ghana Limited, which was Caridem, and the Chinese company was given $1.8 million by the Chinese government to go into cocoa processing.
However, the Ministry of Finance declined to give out the money to Calf Cocoa to start its operations after it had set up the company in 2003.
The case ended up in the Commercial Division of the Fast Track High Court, where judgment was given on March 8, 2008, asking the state to pay Calf the undisbursed amount of $1.8 million, and further awarded damages of $1.75 million.
The $1.8 million was part of a complete loan facility of $8,750,000 the Chinese government had earmarked to support the companies.
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