UG debunks reports regarding $165m judgment debt

BY: Kweku Zurek
UG debunks reports regarding $165m judgment debt
UG debunks reports regarding $165m judgment debt

The University of Ghana (UG) has debunked media reports that it has been slapped with a $165m judgment debt by a New York Court for erroneously cancelling the Africa Integras LLC Contract in 2018.

The University in a news release issued on Friday, August 7, 2021, said contrary to the reports, a petition filed before the New York Courts by an American insurance company does not constitute a judgment on the matter.

The release added that the New York Petition presents an inaccurate and one-sided account of the Project.

"Contrary to certain reports seen in the media, the University can categorically confirm that no court judgment has been issued against the University in relation to the Project," the release said.

"The New York Petition does not in any way comprise a judgment. Rather, the New York Petition simply represents an initial step directed at commencing proceedings before the New York courts. Such courts will allow the University full opportunity to respond to and contest the contents of the Petition. The New York Petition presents an inaccurate and one-sided account of the Project. Further, the Petition is ill-founded and fundamentally flawed".

Read the release below;

NEWS RELEASE: MISREPRESENTATIONS ABOUT NEW YORK PETITION AGAINST THE UNIVERSITY OF GHANA

The University of Ghana finds it necessary to respond to and correct a series of misrepresentations and falsehoods which have been circulating in recent days concerning the "Petition to Confirm, Recognize, and Enforce Foreign Arbitration Award" (the "New York Petition") recently issued before the New York Courts by Ace American Insurance Company ("Chubb"). The University discourages and deplores such unfounded speculation regarding this matter.

This arises out of the unsuccessful project commonly referred to as the "Africa Integras Project" (the "Project"). Regrettably, once again the circumstances of the Project and its termination are being falsely represented. Further, the nature of the New York Petition has similarly wrongly been described. The University wishes to provide the following by way of expla­nation and correction. The University also refers to its press statement of 12th October, 2019, with regard to the true circumstances of the Project.

Contrary to certain reports seen in the media, the University can categorically confirm that no court judgment has been issued against the University in relation to the Project. The New York Petition does not in any way comprise a judgment. Rather, the New York Petition simply represents an initial step directed at commencing proceedings before the New York courts. Such courts will allow the University full opportunity to respond to and contest the contents of the Petition. The New York Petition presents an inaccurate and one-sided account of the Project. Further, the Petition is ill-founded and fundamentally flawed.

It is a matter of record that, over the past three years, the University has repeatedly invited all of the entities which purport to assert claims against it in relation to the Project to:

openly set out and substantiate their claims;

mediate with the University; and/or

progress the claims by way of the arbitration which has already been commenced.

However, such parties have persistently refused to do so. The New York Petition now represents an attempt to avoid setting out and substantiating a proper claim against the University, and avoid the contractually-required arbitration process, by proceeding in an inappropriate forum – the New York Courts.

The University will vigorously defend its position and rights in relation to the Project and contest the New York Petition before all appropriate forums, including arbitration and the New York Courts. The University is confident that it will prevail and that the New York Petition will be dismissed.

Emelia Agyei-Mensah (Mrs)

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