…Dr. Agambila and Gloria Akuffo Next
Ex-Ghana High Commission to the United Kingdom (UK), Chris Kpodo, will today appear before the Judgment Debts Commission of Inquiry, to give evidence on the controversial sale of the Ghana National Petroleum Cooperation (GNPC) Drillship Discoverer 511, sold in July 2001 and the whereabouts of the US$3.5 million.
The former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, under the late President Atta-Mills government, has been mentioned by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Adansi Asokwa in the Ashanti Region and his boss, Albert Kan Dapaah, as the recipient of the US$3.5 million; the remainder of the US$24 million realized from the sale of the state-owned drillship.
Meanwhile, The Herald is informed that ex-Deputy Finance Minister and Deputy Minister of Justice, Dr. Gheysika A. Agambila and Ms. Gloria Akuffo respectively, will soon be summoned by the Judgment Debt Commission to testify on the roles they played leading to the payment of the US$19.5 million negotiated settlement paid Societe Generale.
The two, according to a letter written and sent to President John Kufuor on June 1, 2001 by Kan-Dapaah, were part of a Committee headed by KT Hammond, which ran into a stalemate with Soceiete Generale’s Nick Mends, who was demanding nothing less than US$14 million from GNPC.
Dr. Agambilla, has meanwhile denied membership of the said Committee, implying that a report Kan-Dapaah claimed in his memo was sent to President Kufuor from the Committee was either forged or cooked to push forward the sale of the state-owned drillship, some 12 years, ago.
Unlike the two former Minsters, who went on radio stating their cases and absorbing themselves of any wrong doing, even before they were summoned by the Commission, Ambassador Kpodo, has rather remained silent and is yet to react to the allegation that he was handed the US$3.5 million cheque.
During their encounter with the Commission presided over by Justice Yaw Apau on Monday, November 25, 2013 both Kan-Dapaah and K.T Hammond dropped the name of Mr Kpodo, as having received the US$3.5 million after the US$19.5 million of the US$24 million was used to pay Societe General, a French bank.
Mr. Kpodo, was said to have collected the cheque in his capacity as the acting High Commissioner of Ghana in UK.
The Kufuor government claimed it had to sale the drillship to defray a $19.5million debt owed Societe Generale. But it has turned out that the then Kufuor government rather failed to fight a winnable case in a UK Commercial Court, but rather opted for a compromised decision by settling the matter out of Court.
Mr. Hammond in his evidence last week, where he nearly wept claiming his mother even suspects that he has misappropriated state funds because of the many publications, noted that after all the debts had been cleared the remaining 3.5 million dollars was handed over to Mr. Chris Kpodo in a form of a cheque, who then paid it into the Ghana government account in the UK.
He could not remember who asked for the cheque to be handed over to the High Commissioner.
The sale of the Oil Drill ship belonging to the GNPC, has been an object of controversy and a subject of inquiry by the Sole Commissioner, appointed by President John Mahama to investigate all judgment debt cases and other related matters since the fourth republic.
The John Agyekum Kufuor government, which superintended over the sale, had been accused of legal and procedural breaches by not consulting the Board of the GNPC, which had the legal mandate to sell.
Some also accused K.T Hammond and his boss, Albert Kan Dapaah of misappropriating an amount of 3.5 million dollars, which was left from the 24 million dollars realized from the sale of the ship. An amount of 19.5 million dollars had been used to pay settlement agreement with Societe General.
“We were prudent and quite clear in everything we did,” Mr. Hammond told the Commission.