Where were you when oil permits were granted? – Ghana dismisses Ivory Coast maritime claim


Ghana has vehemently defended its decision to invest and explore a maritime territory that is now in serious dispute.

Ivory Coast, who are claimants to the  TEN fields operated by British company, Tullow Oil in Ghana, told a panel of judges at the International Tribunal in Hamburg  that Ghana risked losing the disputed oil fields when she decided to explore the field.

But Ghana’s Attorney General Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong who is leading a crack team of international lawyers said the claim by Ivory Coast is unsustainable. 

According to Ghana’s legal team, Ghana did not consider it risky when she was granting oil exploration permits in the TEN oil fields because ownership of the oil fields was not in dispute.

The oil field with its estimated 1.2billion barrels of deposits was within Ghana’s territorial boundary.

“Cote d’Ivoire had full knowledge and never objected”, an external lawyer argued on day two of court proceedings which was triggered after Ivory Coast proceeded to the Tribunal.

The team argued that the Ivorian authorities exercised no sense of “urgency” because they did not raise any issue about Ghana’s oil find in 2007.

Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Marietta Brew Oppong-Appiah argued Ivory Coast was only now “trying to move a long and established boundary” that had been agreed between the two neighbouring countries over 40 years ago.

Marietta Brew Oppong Appiah “not good enough”  for Ivory Coast to go to court claiming plausible rights over the oil fields “without mentioning the history” behind the boundary which Ghana claims their neighbour won’t to move.

She says Ivory Coast cannot insist on the rightfulness of their claim “and at the same time say let’s not talk about the historical position or Ghana’s rights….there is usually a reason why a party does not want to discuss the merits [of history]“

She suggested that Ghana’s neighbour is avoiding this history because it benefits Ghana’s case.

The lawyer also argued that although Ghana has presented witness testimony and written submissions, their opposing legal team has not challenged Ghana’s witness or given Ghana any written testimony.

She concluded by telling the court that the case is “the most straightforward” trial in the tribunal because Ivory Coast has not been able to present “credible material to support [their] position.

Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|edwin.appiah@myjoyonline.com


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