The hopes of Exton Cubic Limited, the company with links to Ibrahim Mahama, younger brother of ex-President John Dramani Mahama, to get compensation from the government for cancelling the company’s bauxite concession worth millions of dollars, have been dashed.
This follows the dismissal of an application filed at the Supreme Court by Exton Cubic challenging the jurisdiction of a Kumasi Human Rights Court that affirmed the government’s position that the concession was illegally acquired.
The controversial concession was given to the Ibrahim-led company by then President Mahama who had lost the 2016 election and at the time he was on his way out of office. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government insisted that Exton Cubic ‘illegally’ acquired the mining lease in order to enter the concession to mine bauxite.
Interestingly, it is the same concession given to Exton Cubic by Mr. Mahama’s administration that the NPP government is using in the barter arrangement worth $2 billion with Sinohydro Corporation of China.
The NPP government has said it is using the $2 billion to bring transformation to the country’s infrastructure, especially in the roads sector as many high class roads including dual carriageways and overpasses will be constructed throughout Ghana.
At the Supreme Court, Osafo Buabeng, lead Counsel for the company averred yesterday that the Kumasi Court did not have Jurisdiction to interpret Article 268 Clause 1 of the 1992 Constitution based on which it dismissed its application for compensation.
He said the court should have ‘stayed’ its proceedings and referred the interpretation of the Article to the Supreme Court before it continued hearing the matter.
He, therefore, concluded that the Kumasi court arrogated to itself the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, interpreted the said Article and entered a judgment against Exton Cubic Limited.
But Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, opposed the application, saying the Supreme Court had already interpreted the Article and the court therefore did not err in its judgment.
The five-member panel presided over by Justice Sophia S.O. Adinyira dismissed Exton Cubic’s application because the Article had already been interpreted by the apex court.
She said the High Court merely applied the interpretation of the Article based on which it had given its judgment.
She added that if the company was not satisfied with the judgment of the trial court, it could have just appealed the decision instead of filing an application at the Supreme Court challenging the jurisdiction of the court in Kumasi.
Exton Cubic Group Limited, in June last year, was prevented by the Kumasi Human Rights Court 2 from claiming compensation from the government regarding the confiscation of equipment it hired from Engineers and Planners (E&P), a private company that also belongs to Ibrahim Mahama.
The confiscation of the equipment was in respect of the attempt by Exton Cubic to mine bauxite in the Nyinahini Forest in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region.
The court held that since the company did not have a valid mineral right, any attempt at commencing mining operations will amount to engaging in illegal mining, also known as ‘galamsey’ and ought not be countenanced.
Exton Cubic had sued the Attorney General, the Ashanti Regional Minister and the Atwima Mponua District Chief Executive for abusing the company’s rights by unlawfully detaining its mining equipment.
In Exton Cubic’s reliefs, the company had asked the court to, among other things, order the government to pay in excess of GH¢51,000 per day times the number of days the defendants kept all the equipment in their custody.
The equipment confiscated included heavy-duty machines and trucks used for mining, among others.
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