Mr Joe Ghartey, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, on Monday appeared before the Accra Fast Track High Court to answer questions involving the sale of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone.
Mr Ghartey, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, giving evidence in court, said as the then Attorney General he only advised government in 2008 on the agreement signed between Vodafone International B.V, the Government of Ghana and Ghana Telecom.
“The A-G gives advice to government on legal issues,” he said, adding in advising government on the agreement, the department worked together with lawyers of Vodafone in coming out with the final draft of the agreement.
“I was guided by Article 88 (1) and gave legal advice,” he said.
He said in cases of international agreements, the A-G gives advice to the sector Ministries to be taken to Parliament for approval.
He said in the purchase agreement there was no infringement of any law before it went to Parliament, indicating that the Divestiture Implementation Committee does not apply to all divestitures in the country.
However, Mr Bright Akwetey, Counsel for the plaintiffs, told the Court that in the purchase agreement, the Divestiture Implementation Committee Law and the National Communication Authority law were breached.
He said it appeared that Mr Ghartey was not familiar with the agreement looking at the typographical error in the spelling of Kumasi with an ‘e’ at the end, making the suspicion that the agreement was drafted outside.
The Court presided over by Justice Gertrude Torkornu adjourned the case to July 8 for cross examination of the witness to continue.
The court action was initiated at the Commercial Court in October 2008 by Professor Agyemang Badu Akosa, Michael Kosi Dedey, Dr Nii Moi Thompson, Naa Kordai Assimeh, Ms Rhodaline Imoru Ayarna and Mr Kwame Jantuah, all members of the Convention People’s Party.
The six are seeking a declaration that the agreement entered into by the government in offloading its 70 per cent shares was not in accordance with due process of law and should be annulled.
The six Ghanaians contended that the decision by government to transfer the assets, property shares, equipment, among others, to Vodafone was obnoxious, unlawful and inimical to the public interest, particularly when no compensation was required from Vodafone for the stated assets.
The reliefs they are seeking from the Court include a declaration that the agreement entered into by the government was not in accordance with due process of the law and was, therefore, a nullity.
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