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General News Fri, 29 Nov 2002

Mystery of $2.5bn loan under P/NDC

A writ issued from the Fast Track High Court, Accra, last week, by an American investment firm, states that under the leadership of Flt Lt J.J. Rawlings, a $2.5bn loan package was arranged between the government of Ghana and a private source, Hong Kong Trust, which it facilitated only to be outwitted.

But, in what may turn out to be the biggest-ever financial scandal in the history of this country, the plaintiff, Messrs H.E. Van Kirksey & Associates of Washington DC, claims that the first instalment of $1bn was transferred into a New York account in favour of Ghana ?but because of fraudulent conversions of all the documents on the loan,? among other things, ?the loan facility from Hong Kong Trust to the government of Ghana cannot be traced.?

The Fast Track High Court case (Suit No. MISE 2000/2001) appears to have been motivated by the fact that the company, which gives its operating address as Suite 1040,1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC, feels cheated by not receiving the fee due it for its part in allegedly pulling off the deal. Which begs the question: would Ghanaians have gotten wind of it, otherwise?

Copies of correspondence and documents in the possession of The Statesman tell a shocking tale of how $1bn of a $2.5bn loan, purportedly contracted on behalf of Ghana by the PNDC, might have lost its way in the murky Bermuda Triangle of grand-scale corruption- a kind never before seen or imagined in Ghana.

The purpose of the loan, as stated in a draft contract, was meant to be ?lawful and peaceful only.? Thus, the loan was to be ?used to strengthen and develop Ghana?s land, and general economic, industrial and social conditions.?

The Statement of Claim, filed on 16 November talks of H.E. Van Kirksey & Associates being invited by the Provisional National Defence Council in 1986 after ?several meetings in Washington with Ghana?s Secretary of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwesi Botchwey.

?After several meetings with the relevant officials and financial institutions, including the Bank of Ghana, in none of which the Defendant participated, the loan pack of $2.5bn was sealed on Bank of Ghana letterhead on 29th May 1987 and witnessed by the solicitor of the Bank of Ghana and Clifford Townsend (of Kirksey & Associates).?

The existence of the loan agreement is not disputed by the defendants.

The civil action is against Egbert Adjeso and Co Ltd, for a court order directing him to hand over documents on the Hong Kong loan facility which he allegedly collected on behalf of the plaintiff.

Plaintiff is also demanding from the Defendants ?accounts of all the monies they have fraudulently claimed from the Hong Kong Trust Loan and pay same to the plaintiff company and the Republic of Ghana.?

Further investigations undertaken by The Statesman reveal that on 2 February 1997, Egbert Adjeso petitioned Parliament, through the Speaker Justice D.F. Annan, on the $2.5bn loan package. The petition- headed ?Petition on $2.5bn Loan Funding Package?- seen by The Statesman, opens with these words: ?We write to petition the National Parliament through you for part release of the above funding loan.?

It continues: ?On 29 May 1987, the Irrevocable Mandate for the $2.5bn Funding Loan Package was signed by the then Acting Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BOG) S.K. Apea with the assistance of the Bank?s Solicitor Adjei (Nana Nyantakyi III- Stool name).?

It further alleges that on the same day, ?the Irrevocable and Irretrievable Fee Agreement for the Trust?s Representatives was also signed and sealed by Messrs Apea and Adjei. ?The original copies of both Seals were handed over to one of the Trust?s representative, namely Tom Moss, to be sent to the Trust?s Headquarters in Hong Kong.?

The Statesman?s investigations, including interviews with the plaintiff, point to the alleged involvement of top officials of the PNDC/NDC regimes with the $2.5bn loan transaction, spanning more than a decade.

In the days ahead, The Statesman will expose the transaction and the players involved, including the persons who are likely to be currently benefiting from the purported $1bn, apparently released for the benefit of the country?s development.

A writ issued from the Fast Track High Court, Accra, last week, by an American investment firm, states that under the leadership of Flt Lt J.J. Rawlings, a $2.5bn loan package was arranged between the government of Ghana and a private source, Hong Kong Trust, which it facilitated only to be outwitted.

But, in what may turn out to be the biggest-ever financial scandal in the history of this country, the plaintiff, Messrs H.E. Van Kirksey & Associates of Washington DC, claims that the first instalment of $1bn was transferred into a New York account in favour of Ghana ?but because of fraudulent conversions of all the documents on the loan,? among other things, ?the loan facility from Hong Kong Trust to the government of Ghana cannot be traced.?

The Fast Track High Court case (Suit No. MISE 2000/2001) appears to have been motivated by the fact that the company, which gives its operating address as Suite 1040,1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC, feels cheated by not receiving the fee due it for its part in allegedly pulling off the deal. Which begs the question: would Ghanaians have gotten wind of it, otherwise?

Copies of correspondence and documents in the possession of The Statesman tell a shocking tale of how $1bn of a $2.5bn loan, purportedly contracted on behalf of Ghana by the PNDC, might have lost its way in the murky Bermuda Triangle of grand-scale corruption- a kind never before seen or imagined in Ghana.

The purpose of the loan, as stated in a draft contract, was meant to be ?lawful and peaceful only.? Thus, the loan was to be ?used to strengthen and develop Ghana?s land, and general economic, industrial and social conditions.?

The Statement of Claim, filed on 16 November talks of H.E. Van Kirksey & Associates being invited by the Provisional National Defence Council in 1986 after ?several meetings in Washington with Ghana?s Secretary of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwesi Botchwey.

?After several meetings with the relevant officials and financial institutions, including the Bank of Ghana, in none of which the Defendant participated, the loan pack of $2.5bn was sealed on Bank of Ghana letterhead on 29th May 1987 and witnessed by the solicitor of the Bank of Ghana and Clifford Townsend (of Kirksey & Associates).?

The existence of the loan agreement is not disputed by the defendants.

The civil action is against Egbert Adjeso and Co Ltd, for a court order directing him to hand over documents on the Hong Kong loan facility which he allegedly collected on behalf of the plaintiff.

Plaintiff is also demanding from the Defendants ?accounts of all the monies they have fraudulently claimed from the Hong Kong Trust Loan and pay same to the plaintiff company and the Republic of Ghana.?

Further investigations undertaken by The Statesman reveal that on 2 February 1997, Egbert Adjeso petitioned Parliament, through the Speaker Justice D.F. Annan, on the $2.5bn loan package. The petition- headed ?Petition on $2.5bn Loan Funding Package?- seen by The Statesman, opens with these words: ?We write to petition the National Parliament through you for part release of the above funding loan.?

It continues: ?On 29 May 1987, the Irrevocable Mandate for the $2.5bn Funding Loan Package was signed by the then Acting Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BOG) S.K. Apea with the assistance of the Bank?s Solicitor Adjei (Nana Nyantakyi III- Stool name).?

It further alleges that on the same day, ?the Irrevocable and Irretrievable Fee Agreement for the Trust?s Representatives was also signed and sealed by Messrs Apea and Adjei. ?The original copies of both Seals were handed over to one of the Trust?s representative, namely Tom Moss, to be sent to the Trust?s Headquarters in Hong Kong.?

The Statesman?s investigations, including interviews with the plaintiff, point to the alleged involvement of top officials of the PNDC/NDC regimes with the $2.5bn loan transaction, spanning more than a decade.

In the days ahead, The Statesman will expose the transaction and the players involved, including the persons who are likely to be currently benefiting from the purported $1bn, apparently released for the benefit of the country?s development.

Source: The Statesman