As Exton Cubic Floors Peter Amewu In Bauxite Exploration Debacle
An Accra Fast Track High Court, has faulted the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, for abrogating a mining lease granted Exton Cubic Ltd for bauxite exploration at the Nyinahini concession in the Ashanti Region.
The court presided over by Justice Kweku Ackah Boafo, yesterday in a judicial review, quashed the decision by the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry, saying the Minister’s action, had no legal basis, but rather “self-serving” decision.
But moments after the court’s decision, Deputy Attorney-General, Godfred Dame, sounding very personal, told the media that the judgment still leaves the Exton Cubic Ltd, a company linked to Ibrahim Mahama, owner of Engineers and Planners (E&P) with nothing, and hinted the court’s decision may be appealed.
Exton Cubic, has always maintained it met all the criteria in acquiring the license to explore bauxite in the Nyinahini concession and accused government of political witch-hunt, since the company has been linked to a younger brother of ex-president, John Mahama.
Meanwhile, an official of the Exton Cubic, has told The Herald that “the company is ready to work with government to develop the bauxite concession”.
Exton Cubic Group Limited went to court to reverse the revocation of its license by the sector ministry through a judicial review.
The court held Mr. Amemu, was not clothed with such adjudicatory powers on the matter of mining in the Nhyinahini bauxite concession of the Tano Offin forest reserve in the region.
Justice Ackah-Boafo, delivering his ruling said, the decision by the Lands and Natural Resources Minister to forbid a company owned by the former President’s brother was in part, “self-serving”.
The court, however, dismissed an application by Exton Cubic for an injunction restricting the minister or his agents from interfering with its acquired rights.
Moments after the ruling, counsel for the applicant, Edudzi Tamakloe, hailed the decision as a strong signal to government officials who take unilateral decisions on these matters, to be advised.
But Deputy Attorney-General, Godfred Dame, maintained Exton cubic did not have the mineral rights as required by law to carry out mining activities, as held by the court.
The Ministry in September last year, revoked Exton Cubic license on the basis that, the multimillion bauxite contract granted by the previous government was invalid.
Arguing the matter before the court, Mr. Dame, said Exton Cubic Group Limited, had no right to come before the court since they had no Mineral rights that the court should protect.
According to Mr. Dame, the granting of Mineral rights was not just an event of signing a document, adding it was a process that the law required that the participation of the sector Minister and ratification from Ghana’s Parliament.
He said mineral rights were subject to Parliamentary ratification stressing that “the contract that the applicant was referring to showed that he had no rights at all.”
Mr. Dame further argued that after Parliamentary ratification, the contract ought to be published in the gazette.
According to him, the granting of lease to Exton Cubic Group Limited was not in the handing over notes to the Transitional team as required under the Transitional Act.
Mr Dame, contended that the mining lease purported to have been offered to Exton Cubic Group was not valid, because the necessary procedures were not followed under the law.