The Supreme Court has directed a former Attorney-General, Mr Martin Amidu, to file within five days written submissions on issues he raised about an amendment of an affidavit filed by Isofoton SA concerning power of attorney.
The nine-member court, presided over by Prof Justice Samuel K. Date-Bah, also directed the defendants to respond within five days for hearing to begin on April 26, 2013.
Other members of the court are Mr Justice Julius Ansah, Ms Justice Sophia Adinyira, Mrs Justice Rose Owusu, Mr Justice Jones Dotse, Mr Justice Anin Yeboah, Mr Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Mr Justice Sulley Gbadegbe and Mrs Justice Vida Akoto Bamfo.
A power of attorney is a written authorisation to represent or act on another's behalf in private affairs, business or legal matters.
The parties had closed their pleadings for the hearing to begin, but the defendants served an additional statement of claim which bordered on power of attorney which was not part of the original affidavit filed by the defendants — Mr Anane-Agyei Forson and Isofoton SA.
Mr Amidu raised issues on the acceptability of the second power of attorney filed by the third defendant, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
Mr Amidu had told the court that it was wrong for the defendants to raise the power of attorney in their amended affidavit.
Asked by the court to argue his position on the matter, he said he had filed his arguments as far back as February 18, 2013 and was relying only on those arguments to contest the case before the court.
He said he did not know why the issue was raised in the amended affidavit, since it would vary defendants’ affidavit.
Looking at the document, he argued that it was not authenticated and authorised and so it was not a fair reflection of the power of attorney.
Quoting sections of the Evidence Decree, he stated that a document could not be used as power of attorney when it was not authenticated.
The case, which was filed by the former Attorney-General, is challenging a claim of $1.3 million by ISOFOTON SA as judgement debt from the Ghana government.
On March 7, 2013, the court, by an interim order, granted an application filed by Mr Amidu praying it for an order for all proceedings in other lower courts in respect of judgement debt payment to Isofoton to be put on hold.
The court also halted all payments to the Spanish firm.
Isofoton sued the government in 2008 over the abrogation of a contract and secured a default judgement with no specific amount.
The state went to court in 2009 and filed processes in an attempt to set aside that default judgement.
The state, however, did not continue with that process but instead reached an out-of-court settlement with the company to pay $1.3 million.
On September 28, 2010, the settlement agreement was filed and adopted by the court on September 29, 2010.
The state paid $400,000 and indicated the mode of payment of the remainder.
It, however, defaulted in making the full payment, forcing Isofoton to go back to the court to obtain an order to garnishee (freeze) the accounts of the Engineering Department of the Ministry of Agriculture on November 21, 2011.
That meant that the government must pay the outstanding amount in order to defreeze the accounts of the department.
On April 20, 2012, the Attorney-General tried to set aside the garnishee process but failed.
But, according to Mr Amidu, Isofoton SA did not have a legitimate contract with the government and, therefore, had no business making those demands.
Mr Amidu is seeking nine declarations, including what he said were illegal payments made to Isofoton by the government.