Diasporian News of 2013-12-04

Boycott Judgment Debt Commission - Kufuor appointees urged

The Chairman of the UK/Ireland branch of the New Patriotic Party is urging the leadership of the party to take a firm and bold decision to block officials of the erstwhile NPP administration under the leadership of President John Agyekum Kufuor from attending the sittings of the Sole Commissioner on Judgement debts set up by President John Mahama.

This, according to him, is because the sole commissioner’s work is now becoming a witch hunt and a ploy of political equalisation, adding that it is being used by the NDC administration to divert attention from the current economic woes Ghanaians are going through.

In a statement, a copy of which was sent to the New Statesman, Hayford Atta Krufi pointed out that the Sole Commissioner is “becoming a Trojan War Horse, a smoking gun and an NDC smearing propaganda” aimed at attempting to scandalise persons such as Nana Akufo-Addo who was the Attorney General at the time.

“He [Nana Akufo-Addo] is the target of this witch hunt,” the NPP Chairman stressed.

According to him, it is beginning to appear that the Sole Commissioner's investigation into the drill ship is being motivated by mere speculations that some key officials of the erstwhile NPP administration may have embezzled the US$3.5 million difference from the sale of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation drill ship.

“Even though some officials of the erstwhile NPP administration have expressed their willingness to appear before the Commission, if invited, NPP as a party should begin to realise that this will not be necessary as witnesses so far have already given the Commission enough and satisfactory evidence,” he said.

The NPP UK Chairman continued, “It is about time that NPP stayed bold enough to declare their intention of blocking its party members from any further cooperation with the Commission on this matter. It will not be out of order to boycott any further invitations to the Commission's hearing considering the fact that all the current evidence before it have been ignored and are pursuing a preconceived perception.”

In his view, the sittings of the Commission is being used to divert attention away from the more recent fraudulent judgement debts such as Woyome, Waterville, Isofoton and many more.

“It is being used to usurp the powers of the Supreme Court in its decision over the Waterville Case. It is also being used as a diversionary tactics to circumvent investigating the matter of corruption such as in GYEEDA and SUBA,” he added.

This GNPC Drillship saga has seen former Energy Minister and his Deputy, Albert Kan Dapaah and K.T. Hammond respectively appearing at the judgment debt commission on Monday 25th November, followed by the appearance of Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, the Managing Director of GNPC at the time the debt was incurred.

“These three individuals have all indicated the roles they played in the sale of the ship and the circumstances surrounding the transaction.

From the information gathered so far, some facts have become evident to the Commission and the general public.

“The facts have been established that in 1996, the GNPC owed Societe Generale over $40 million which accrued interest of $7 million, which debt was prudently reduced to $19 million by the NPP administration when it assumed office in 2001. It is also evident that Societe Generale had secured a default judgement for $47 million and had secured a precautionary arrest of GNPC’s Discoverer 511 in Oman as a result,” he noted.

He added; “It has also been established that the GNPC drill ship, Discoverer 511, was sold in July 2001 by the NPP Administration for US$24million to defray the debts of the GNPC which included some US$19.5million owed Societe Generale, $1million as the company’s legal fees and other expenses; and a balance of $3.5million paid into government’s account in Ghana International Bank PLC (GIB) in London.”

According to the NPP Chairman, there is credible evidence available that on July 25, 2001, the Treasury Officer at the Office of Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK, Mr. Emmanuel Bani in a letter titled: OPENING OF ACCOUNT- TREASURY OFFICER SPECIAL DOLLAR INVESTMENT ACCOUNT, instructed the GIB to open a dollar account for the Commission.

“It is clear that all witnesses have so far cooperated with the Judgement Debt Commission and provided all the information they need to assist them with the investigation. This information has been given in the testimonies of the former boss of GNPC, Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, former Energy Minister and his Deputy, Albert Kan Dapaah and K.T. Hammond respectively. Out of this evidence we have gleaned out completely all the circumstances surrounding the sale of the drill ship,” he concluded.