The Sekondi High Court has dismissed the case that was filed by five Members of Parliament (MPs) against the state over the Atuabo Free Port project.


The five MPs are: Kwaku Kwarteng, Obuasi West; Kwabena Okyere Darko, Takoradi; Joseph Cudjoe, Effia; Mavis Hawa Koomson, Ewutu Senya and Kofi Brako, Tema Central.

On 17th July 2014, Parliament approved an agreement made between the Ghana Government and a British company, Lonrho Ports, for the development of an oil and gas freeport in the Western Region.

Clause 7 of the said agreement bars the Takoradi Port from further expanding its facilities for oil and gas until Lonrho has built its freeport, recovered all its cost, and made enough profit. The agreement actually bars all persons or companies from building any oil and gas port facilities in the entire Western Region until Lonrho has recovered its investment and made its profit.

But the five Members of Parliament insist that this restriction imposed on a national port like the Takoradi Port is unlawful. They argue in their affidavit that the restriction offends section 5 of the Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority Act, and are praying the court to remove the restriction.

They point out that Parliament recently approved a loan of ?197 million for the expansion of the oil and gas facilities at the Takoradi Port, and that the port is in the process of securing another US$400 million to support the expansion programme. Imposing this restriction on the port would, therefore, make it impossible for it to repay these loans.

This will collapse the port and render its workers jobless.

The case which was heard on Thursday, 28th August 2014, has generated considerable interest in the twin harbour city, where it is feared that the collapse of the Takoradi Port would mean a collapse of Sekondi-Takoradi as a city.

The lawyer for the five Members of Parliament is the renowned Mr. Alexander Abban, the same lawyer who defeated government in the illegal fuel prices case in 2011.

Source: Rebecca Addo Tetteh/Peacefmonline


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