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21.10.2005 Crime & Punishment

Commercial Court dismisses timber firm's application

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Accra, Oct. 21, GNA - An Accra Commercial Court on Friday dismissed an application filed by Jawak Sawmill praying the Court to restrain Omega Wood Processing Limited from entering any part of its concession. This includes felling, cutting and removal of trees from the forest.

The Commercial Court presided over by Mrs Justice Margaret Insaido, in her brief ruling stated: "It is not a case for a grant of stay of execution. The application is refused." No cost was, however, awarded.

Mr Agyabeng G. Akrasi, Counsel for the Plaintiff, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency shortly after the ruling, said he intended to take the matter to the Court of Appeal.

In a motion on notice the Plaintiff, Mr John Owusu-Amankrah, Managing Director of Jowak Sawmill, stated that a Timber Utilisation Contract between the Plaintiff and the Defendant in 2000 was still valid and subsisting. He said an order restraining the Defendant, Mr Peter Moses from entering any part of the subject matter of the suit for any purpose whatsoever, including felling, cutting and removal of trees, was still valid.

The Plaintiff also asked for general and specific damages against the Defendant for trespassing and breach of contract. He further asked for cost for bringing the action, including solicitor's fees.

In an affidavit supporting his claim, the plaintiff averred that recently, the Defendant acting per the Ministry of Lands and Forestry, without any justification whatsoever, was purported to have revoked the contract.

Applicant said it entered into a timber utilisation contract with the Defendant, acting per the Minister of Lands and Forestry in 2000 after competitive bidding. "The Minister's dealing with the contract smacks of discrimination and is a threat to Plaintiff's economic rights enshrined in the supreme law of the land..."

Plaintiff contended that on or about August 11, this year, the Defendant trespassed onto the concession and unlawfully began the felling and removal of trees in the contract area, and in the process, carted away more than 100 pieces of timber logs in two days. 21 Oct. 05

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