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More Trouble For Waterville …As Court Throws Out Arbitration Request   
 
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12-Nov-2013  
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Mr Andrea Orlandi MD of Waterville
 
 
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It is almost five months after the Supreme Court of the Republic Ghana gave a landmark ruling and ordered Waterville Holdings Ltd. to return to the state monies it obtained illegally arising out of claims it brought against the state in 2009 but the company is yet to abide by the ruling which has elicited huge public outcry.

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice therefore initiated legal processes at the High Court for the execution of the order of the apex court in order to retrieve €47m but Waterville Holdings also filed an application for stay of proceedings pending arbitration which the state opposed.

The High Court presided over by Justice Jennifer A Dodoo last week dismissed Waterville’s application for stay of proceedings and subsequently ordered it to file its defence “within 14 days for the matter to take its normal course” and further fined awarded cost of GH¢800.00 against them.

The Court reasoned that, the contracts Waterville was relying on in seeking a referral to arbitration did not exist as ruled by the Supreme Court in the case of Amidu v. The Attorney General and 3 others.

According to the High Court, the said contract had “been declared null and void as not having been approved by Parliament. The requirement for arbitration is not separate and separable from the main contract as Defence Counsel has contended but essentially part and parcel of it. It the contracts are declared null and void, so are the provisions in it relating to arbitration”.

The Court continued that, “the argument that this suit arises out of the annulled contracts falls flat on its face. Once the highest court of the land has pronounced on them, and held them to be null and void, it is not open to any other court to determine them valid and accord either the party the benefits of any of the said contracts”.

It would be recalled that, the Supreme Court in June after listening to arguments before it by former Attorney General Martin Amidu that neither Waterville nor businessman Alfred Agbesie Woyome, who also obtained similar payments, had a valid contract with the state to warrant the payments unanimously declared the payment as illegal and must be refunded.

The Deputy Attorney-General, Dr. Dominic Ayeni, Mrs. Dorothy Afriyie-Ansah, Chief State Attorney represented the state with Kofi Peasah-Boadu representing the Waterville.
 
 
Source: Gordon Asare Bediako/New Crusading Guide/Ghana
 
 

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