General News of 2014-04-22

Kofi Annan’s son's name pops up in oil scandal

The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has taken over investigations into the circumstances in which an international oil firm forged the Energy Minister’s signature to lay claim to a piece of oil rich area, offshore, South of the Cape Three Points in the Western Region.

The case was first referred to the Economic and Organised Crimes Office, but the police took over and arrested one Charles Andoh, a former employee of Miura. However, it now appears the authorities prefer the matter to be handled by the Bureau of National Investigations.

Miura Petroleum Limited is reported to have made an estimated 1.5 million dollars using the forged letter as a basis to sell off majority stake in the oil rich area, to its parent company, Gondwana Oil Corporation in Canada.

The parent company also used the letter as a basis to raise 40 million dollars on the Canadian stock exchange.

Joy News has learnt that the scandal has forced the Canadian company to halt its activity on the stock exchange with latest information suggesting that the company believes it might have been duped.

The last time the company traded as of Tuesday April 22, 2014 was on April 11, 2014.

Meanwhile, Joy News is learning that Kojo Annan, son of former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan is a shareholder of Miura.

The website of Gondwana mentions Kojo Annan as its local advisor.

He is described as “a successful natural resource entrepreneur and social business enthusiast with an extensive global network and strong track record of growing new and existing businesses across the international market.”

Chairman of Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, Dr. Kwabena Donkor has described the handling of the forgery scandal as “glorifying a purely criminal activity”.

He found it baffling that a company would use a letter purported to have been signed by the Minister to transact business, noting that the process of acquiring an oil field in Ghana is “more complicated” unlike what the oil firm had portrayed.

He also described the sale of the oil field at the cost of 1.5 million for a 75 percent share as a “joke”. Shareholders and prospective ones might have bought into the claims probably because they believe Africans are “inept or too stupid” to accept such an “insignificant” offer.

Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director of Africa Centre for Energy Policy, told Joy News even though Kojo Annan has a share in Miura, information available from the police indicates that Mr. Annan and Miura are not directly involved in the forgery case.

He said the Centre’s research has also discovered that both Miura and Gondwana had received a lot of genuine documents from government about the field, but also indicated that some of the documents were forged.

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