Modex Oil Settles Liability With GHA … Pays GH¢30,000 Part Payment Of Penalty
From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
Modex Oil Company Limited, a Ghanaian oil marketing company, through its Managing Director, Mr. Kwabena Appiah, has paid GH¢30,000 out of its GH¢51,000 liability to the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA), a Kumasi Circuit Court (3) has heard.
The Regional Surveyor of the GHA, Nana Nanabanyin Ninsin-Imbeah, who represented the GHA in court at the last adjourned hearing, notified the court upon an enquiry by the presiding judge, Mr. Justice D.W. P. Amedior, last week Monday.
The GHA rep told the court that Mr. Appiah had taken steps to settle his indebtedness to the GHA by paying GH¢30,000, with GH¢21,000.00 remaining to be settled.
This, he said, followed a reassessment of the initial penalty of GH¢146,065.64 imposed on the company as cost and penalty for encroaching on a road reservation of the Authority at Breman in Kumasi.
The rep indicated that the GHA would consider dropping charges against the oil company after the remaining GH¢21,000 had been settled fully.
The GHA, last year slapped Modex Oil Company Limited with GH¢146,065.64, which includes a 15% penalty of GH¢19,052.04, for causing damage and unwarranted destruction of a road furniture, a thick concrete protection of the embankment, and for excavating materials from the said site without any authorisation.
It was explained that the said encroachment by the oil company was in breach of the provisions of sections 17 (1), (2), (3), (4) a, b, c, (5) (6) (8) and (9) of the GHA Act 540 of 1997.
Following, this the Attorney General’s Department took over the prosecution of Mr. Kwabena Appiah, Managing Director of Modex Oil Company Limited, before the Kumasi Circuit Court with, Ms Anna Franklina Opoku, a State Attorney, leading the prosecution on behalf of the law office.
Before the court could hear the case, Modex Oil filed a legal suit jointly and severally against the Attorney General and the Ghana Highways Authority, apparently challenging the directives of the GHA and the Regional Co-ordinating Council (ARCC) to halt any further development and destruction to road infrastructure of a section of the Breman-Kumasi highway.
The company also sought the declaration of the court that the demand by the second defendant for the payment of GH¢146,065.64 or GH¢85,000 by the plaintiff for alleged destruction of the protective wall embankment was wrongful, and eventually sought a perpetual injunction to restrain the defendants from interfering with the plaintiff’s enjoyment and development of its properties.
Modex Oil, however, filed a motion seeking a discontinuation of a case against the Attorney General and the GHA, which was upheld by the Human Rights, Labour, Land, Financial (Economic) Crimes Court in Kumasi, presided over by Mr. Justice Paul K. Richardson.
The Human Rights Court had, on November 26, 2012, granted an order of interim injunction against the Attorney General and the GHA sought by the plaintiff.
With this step, Modex Oil started negotiations with GHA to reschedule payment of the penalty, which was reassessed, and consequently paid the first installment of GH¢30,000, as reported to the court last Monday.
The Kumasi Circuit Court has accordingly adjourned hearing of the case to March 20, 2013.
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