Amidu’s Case On ISOFOTON Saga

As the issue relating to the legality or otherwise of the contentious ISOFOTON contract and its subsequent abrogation by the office of the President continue to dominate public discourse, it has emerged that consultants commissioned by government to look into the matter indeed admitted that that there were some grounds on which the Ministry could have mounted a defence to the suit filed by Messrs Isofoton S. A Madrid Spain. But in a sharp contrast to this position, a memo from the Solicitor General to the Attorney-General (A-G) suggested that there was no evidence of breach of contract on the part of Isofoton S. A. prior to the unilateral decision of Government to divert the projects. In the said memorandum addressed to the A-G on the subject matter, the Solicitor General wrote that there was no evidence that the company was accused or notified by Government of any breach of the said formal agreements on the part of Isofoton S. A. prior to the said diversion of projects. However, in response to the aforementioned memo, the then A-G, Mr. Martin Amidu said “After a careful reading of that report commissioned by this office, I have come to the conclusion that the matter was not as easy as it was concluded by this office. The settlement of US$1, 300,000.00 was concluded, filed, and a request for payment made to the Ministry of Finance even before our own experts appointed at the expense of the Republic could submit their report on the very matter we intended to settle”. He stated that the facts as narrated to him in the memo validated the decision to settle the pending suits in the two cases and the further decision to seek to make good the financial loss to the public by a possible prosecution. He recalled that on 8th February, 2011 his deputy made available to him a report commissioned in August 2010 by the appointment of professional groups (Ghana) “to conduct a desk research and field study into the award and abrogation of contract between the Government of Ghana and Messrs Isofoton S. A Madrid Spain". He said the conclusion of the Professional Group (Ghana) was that there was no breach of contract between the Government of Ghana and Isofoton on any of the two contracts purportedly entered into by the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Agriculture respectively. “The award of the two new contracts by based on the Spanish protocol of 2006 was separate from the tractions entered long before the signing of the Spanish Protocol”, he added. On the matter of the amount of money paid to the Professional Group which is now in contention, Mr. Amidu said on 1st November, 2010, the group submitted a bill of US$130,000.00 and followed up on 18th January, 2011 with another bill for the same amount for three copies of the Isofoton S. A Report, totaling $520,000.00. “The report makes quite good sense to me. If they are right, then we will run into problems with settling contracts with experts appointed by us to investigate the same subject matter have subsequently told us disclose no breach of contract to warrant any settlement. Assuming that they are wrong, the report is still against the Government because the Government at the time could be said to have acted upon a reasonable interpretation of the Spanish Protocol and compiled with it in the award of the contracts to the other two Spanish Companies”, Mr. Amidu said.