By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Folks, evidence so far given the Sole Judgement Debt Commission by many of those appearing before it have drawn circles around ex-President Kufuor and the defeated NPP Presidential Candidate, William Nana Addo Dankwa (Danquah) Akufo-Addo as the kingpins of the stinking transaction involving the sale of the GNPC's drill ship (Discoverer 511).
K.T. Hammond was the first person to implicate ex-President Kufuor when he opened his mouth too wide at radio stations to say that when he sold the drill ship, he gave the cheque to Kufuor. That was even before the Commission could decide where to go in investigating the matter.
As if frightened by the implications of his "okro-mouth", K.T. Hammond quickly retracted that allegation and sought to create the impression that the cheque rather went to a different person.
Then, the NPP's ventriloquist at the media front (Kweku Baako) took over the damage control work, publishing useless reports to divert attention from Kufuor and his involvement in the deal.
Baako said several things, including his investigation to establish that the money was lodged in an account at the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York. Then, he turned round to say the money in question (3.5 million Dollars) was used to pay staff of Ghana's High Commission in London.
As if possessed by "Gbeshie", Kweku Baako began churning out stories based on documents that he claimed to have in his possession, even at a time that K.T. Hammond (the main architect of the sale) didn't have any document to prove all that he had been saying.
He could get one to present during his testimony to the Commission only by a stroke of Divine intervention (when a document miraculously found its way into his pigeon hole the night before he was to appear before the Commission). There are too many al-Houdinis doing magic and indulging in vanishing tricks in this matter!!
Kufuor and Akufo-Addo have been fingered.
Even without being prompted, ex-President Kufuor said he was willing to appear before the Commission. But that, to me, is a mere deed of derring-do. As the former President, he enjoys the kind of immunity that the Constitution gives him. He is only trying to play it smart.
How about Akufo-Addo, who was the Attorney-general at the time who physically authorized the disposal of the drill ship by giving the power of attorney to K.T. Hammond to enable him to sell the drill ship?
He is still hibernating in London even when his name is being dragged deeper into the mud. His lackeys have spoken on his behalf top suggest that he will willingly appear before the Commission when invited. Nothing has come from him personally. As usual, he has found it safer to hide behind others to do the talking for him.
But he is deceived. Chris Kpodo's testimony today has nailed him further. Kpodo made it clear that he had explicit instructions from Akufo-Addo to go and witness the signing of the document finalizing the sale of the ship. He said he wasn't well disposed toward doing so and sent a representative who was turned away.
Kpodo said he showed up but wasn't given the chance to read the document. he signed it "under bizarre circumstances" (in his own words.
He admitted being given the bankers' draft indicating the 3.5 million Cedis, which raises many questions:
1. Was the drill ship sold for 3.5 million Dollars only?
2. How come that only 3.5 million Dollars was indicated in the bankers' draft given Kpodo?
3. At the signing ceremony, who and who appended their signature to which document; and how much money was indicated in each document for us to conclude that the total proceeds stood at 24 million Dollars?
3. How was the 19.5 million Dollars allegedly paid to Societe Generale calculated and deducted from source to be left with only the 3.5 million Dollars that was written on the bankers' draft and given to Kpodo?
4. Why was Kpodo told by K.T. Hammond to hold on to the bankers' draft till he heard instructions from the Minister of Finance (Yaw Osafo-Marfo)?
5. Why was the so-called 3.5 million dollars lodged in a new account, separated from the existing Ghana Government account?
6. After the money had been allegedly lodged in the new account, what happened to it? Who went for it? Where is the money?
Folks, there are many questions for all those connected with this stinking deal to answer. Akufo-Addo stands a good chance of helping us know these answers and should make himself ready.
It is all in the national interest. Those who seek to rule us must not flinch when their integrity is called into question because of their involvement in shady deals.
Will Akufo-Addo be the man that he claims to be? He has chosen to remain silent, which won't absolve him. I am waiting impatiently for the day that the Sole Judgement debt Commission will haul him before it to prove his mettle.
Defending human rights doesn't have to do with only fighting military governments or dashing to court when someone's so-called fundamental human rights are abused. Safeguarding the national interest for the survival of Ghanaians (human beings) is also a paramount human rights issue. Let Akufo-Addo take note that his name is cropping up and we expect him to tell us the truth and nothing but the truth about this stinking deal.
Ghanaian politics can, indeed, be full of tormenting surprises.
I shall return…
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