FINALLY, GHANA HAS WON THE MARITIME DISPUTE - EDITORIAL BY MICHAEL OFOSU-AFRIYIE, KUMASI
Published: 24 September 2017
Last Updated: 24 September 2017
24 Sep 2017
With many Ghanaians sitting on tenterhooks last Saturday observing the judgment that was being read out by the lead Judge at the International Maritime Court it was interesting the comments that was flooding both conventional and social media space.
While many expressed fear and trepidation at the way and manner the judgment was going to go, the bold ones among the lot, rather deployed the let us wait and see attitude.
Sure, the latter was right in thinking so because as it turned out eventually Ghana had a walk in the park since almost all its substantive cases were upheld by the Maritime Court.
Frankly, it wasn’t pleasant listening to judgment in its early embers since apart from the inaudible voice of the presiding judge the technicalities and the legal language that was being spoken at the court seemed unfamiliar to many including some of us.
But, just as some patiently waited for the concluding part of the judgment it turned out to be that the earlier expression of panic and fear was borne out of lack of appreciation of what was transpiring.
In our quest to explain the legal gymnastics and semantics to our ardent readers and patrons, we at GO, gleaned through the stables of the experts in the maritime field and foundd the simple explanation by Lawyer Kofi Bentil of Imani Ghana as one that is worth sharing.
- Both Ghana and the Ivory Coast lost their respective legal arguments.
- The court then asserted its powers to determine the boundaries.
- The boundary set is effectively same as Ghana had.
- Ghana has been commended for being law abiding.
In summing up therefore, the ruling means a win for Ghana and none of our oil fields will be lost per what the final judgment says.
The court clearly, as could be, indicated that Ghana was wrong in assuming that the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire had accepted the boundary it was claiming.
It was made clear that there was no such agreement and therefore nothing was binding between the two West African neighbors.
However, we at Go are happy that the same equidistance used by Ghana has been adopted by the Court and therefore are we will not lose our oil fields while we wait for the yet to be determined compensation in future drills if our find is determined as being close to that of the Ivory Coast boundary.
Michael Ofosu-Afriyie, Kumasi