BETTY DODGES BNI & EOCO … Sends lawyer to represent her in probe Into 60bn loss to the state
By Emmanuel Akli
The former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Madam Betty Mould-Iddrisu, failed to appear before the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) on Tuesday, to help in an investigation into the circumstances that led to the failure of the government of Ghana to pursue and recover a cost of £2 million that should have been awarded to the state by the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).The embattled former A-G, instead, sent her counsel to represent her at the meeting
The Chronicle reported on Tuesday that the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) had summoned a senior policy analyst at the Centre for National Affairs (CNA), Mr. Richard Rocky E. Obeng, and the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Madam Betty Mould-Iddrisu, and two others, to a separate meeting in Accra.
The invitation was to help in an investigation into why the Government of Ghana failed to produce the necessary documents to the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), to claim £2,326,712.84, about ¢60 billion, from Gustav F.W. Hamester GmbH & Co KG, former owners of West African Mills Company Limited (WAMCO) in Takoradi.
Earlier, in August last month, Mr. Rocky Obeng, The Chronicle gathered, petitioned President John Mahama over the issue. The latter also directed the security agencies to probe the petition to find out if there was a case to be pursued by the government.
Rocky Obeng and his CNA had revealed in their petition that on September 24, 2007, pursuant to Article 36 (3) of the ICSID Convention, Gustav F.W. Hamester GmbH & Co KG, acting through their lawyers, submitted a request for arbitration against the Republic of Ghana.
Hamester’s case has been that it was entitled to damages as a result of alleged breaches by the Republic of Ghana of the Bilateral International Treaty (BIT). As a result of the breaches of the BIT, Hamester asserted that it “has suffered substantial losses in excess of 100 million Euros,” and claims:
(i) compensation for losses due to the non-supply of cocoa beans in 2002, in the total sum of EUR 33,045,031.29; (ii) loss of profit from 2003 to 2008 in the sum of EUR 27,984,000.00; (iii) loss of share of WAMCO’S profits from 2002 to 2008 in the sum of EUR 13,396,555.00; and (iv) loss of future profits in the range of EUR 37,768,000.00 to 67,042,3000.
Madam Betty Mould Iddrisu, who led the government legal team to defend the case put up a spirited argument and managed to win the case, probably for the first time as AG.
Surprisingly, Betty and her legal team failed to submit documentary evidence, as demanded by the international court to justify the cost incurred by the government, which amounted to over £2 million for reimbursement.
The failure of the state to submit the documents demanded by the court compelled the latter to rule that all the parties to the case should bear their legal costs.
This means that the state has lost the £2 million it spent in defending the case at the time Hemester, plaintiff in the case, would have been awarded over 100 million Euros, plus additional cost if the government of Ghana had lost the case to the Germans.
Sources close to the investigative bodies have told The Chronicle that Mr. Rocky Obeng and his CNA had threatened to boycott the probe into the case if Madam Betty Mould-Iddrisu, a principal witness in the case, fails to attend the next meeting.
The CNA is arguing that since the former A-G is key to the whole discussion, she has to present herself to defend her decision on the matter, failure, of which the CNA would report the matter back to President John Mahama.
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