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You’ve got no power to impose fines on us – ECG board members to PURC

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The governing board of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has responded to fines levied against them by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) for the company’s failure to provide a load-shedding timetable.

In a letter addressed to the PURC on Wednesday, April 17, lawyers representing the board members challenged the authority of the Commission to impose fines, arguing that it lacks the powers equivalent to those of the High Court.

The legal representatives emphasised that the board members, who are not directly involved in the day-to-day operations of the company, should not be held personally liable for the actions taken by management.

Furthermore, the lawyers contended that the fines were imposed without affording the board members an opportunity to present their case or provide input, thereby violating the principles of natural justice.

The letter underscored the board members’ refusal to accept any personal responsibility for the operational decisions made by those in charge of the company’s daily affairs.

It expressed strong objection to the actions taken by the PURC, asserting that such measures are unjust and unacceptable.

“The Commission’s Order imposing regulatory charges on the members of the board is unlawful, null and void as same is without jurisdiction. By this Order, the Commission has unlawfully clothed itself with the powers of the High Court, and imposed a sentence on the board members, without having been given the opportunity to be heard which amounts to a breach of the rules of the natural justice.”

“Our clients, therefore, reject the contents of the regulatory order relative to any personal liability on their part,” an excerpt of the letter stated.

The PURC has imposed a hefty fine of GHS5,868,000 on the members of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) board who served from the beginning of the year until March 18, 2024.

This significant penalty stems from their violation of Regulation 39 of L.I. 2413, which requires advance notification to consumers before any interruption in power supply occurs.

The repercussions of this punitive action have affected several individuals, including Keli Gadzekpo, who resigned as Board Chair on March 26, and the current ECG Managing Director, Samuel Dubik Mahama.

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