Ibrahim Mahama

Supreme Court dismisses Exton Cubic case

The Supreme Court has in a unanimous decision dismissed a case filed by mining company Exton Cubic seeking to set aside a High Court decision denying the company compensation.

Exton Cubic which is owned by Ibrahim Mahama, brother of former President John Mahama, filed for compensation at a Kumasi High Court after its hired equipment had been confiscated for weeks by the Ashanti Regional Minister. 

This was in respect of the attempt by Exton Cubic to mine bauxite in the forest of Nyinahini in the Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti Region. 

The court ruled 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’ which cannot be countenanced.

The Judge explained the lease granted the company did not have Parliamentary approval.

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. 

Dissatisfied with the decision of the High Court, the company proceeded to the Supreme Court saying the Judge exceeded his jurisdiction by interpreting a constitutional provision (Article 268 (1)). 

The five-member Supreme Court panel comprising Justices Adinyira, Anin Yeboah, Gbadegbe, Marful Sau, Prof Kotei on Tuesday ruled that the case was without merit.

Justice Adinyira explained that the Supreme Court had already interpreted the provision to mean such licenses need to be ratified by Parliament.

She added that the apex court was aware of pending appeal at a lower court on the same matter.