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Ibrahim Mahama's Exton Cubic Floored....As Supreme Court Dismisses Case   
 
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22-Jan-2019  
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The Supreme Court has dismissed a case by Exton Cubic owned by Ibrahim Mahama, brother of former President John Dramani Mahama.

In a unanimous decision on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, a five-member panel presided over by Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyera, and comprising Justices Anin Yeboah, Sule Gbagbegbe, Samuel Marful-Sau and Prof Nii Ashie Kotey, held that Exton’s application had no merit because the Supreme Court had already given an interpretation of Article 268 clause 1.

The apex court, in its decision, ruled that the appropriate action that the applicant should have taken was to have appealed against the High Court ruling instead of coming to the Supreme Court. 

The Supreme Court subsequently dismissed the application.

Exton Cubic's application sought to challenge the jurisdiction of the High Court following a decision by the court to refuse them compensation for the seizure of its mining equipment.

Background

In 2018, the company filed for compensation at a Kumasi High Court after the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah ordered the confiscation of its equipment following an attempt to mine bauxite in the forest of Nyinahini in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region.

The company had asked the court to, among other things, order the government to pay for the number of days the defendants kept all the equipment in their custody.

However, in a ruling on June 2018, the Kumasi High Court, presided over by Mr Justice George Addai Kwofa, dismissed the case on the basis that the company’s mining lease was not valid.

According to the High Court, the minister did nothing wrong by seizing the equipment and added that as the political head of the region, Hon Simon Osei acted in good faith, as the presence of the equipment in the forest was causing unrest among the population.

It said, since the lease that allowed the company access into the forest was subject to review and withdrawal, the minister acted within the law.

It also held that by the act of the minister, the equipment of the company was protected, as the youth of the town could have vandalized it.

Unhappy with the High Court's decision, the company proceeded to the Supreme Court.

But on Tuesday, the five-member Supreme Court ruled that the case was without merit.

Minister's Action

In September 2017, Mr. Osei-Mensah ordered the police to seize eight trucks, one caterpillar generating set and two container offices belonging to Engineers and Planners that had been contracted by the Exton Cubic Group for bauxite prospecting in the Tano-Offin Forest Reserve.

During the seizure, the company insisted that it had the legal authorization from the government to work in the forest reserve.

However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. John Peter Amewu, explained later that the company failed to meet the legal requirements and, therefore, its lease was not valid.

He argued that the failure to obtain environmental and operational permits, as well as the various statutory infractions leading to the purported grant of the three mining leases to the company, rendered the purported leases invalid and of no effect.

Exton Cubic was granted a long lease concession by the Mahama government on December 29, 2016, a few days before it handed over power to the NPP government.

Not satisfied with the development, the company filed an application for certiorari to quash Mr. Amewu’s decision to revoke the mining leases to the company on September 4, 2017.
 
 
Source: Peacefmonline.com
 
 

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