Reveals Grueling Ordeals With FBI & BNI
By; Gifty Arthur
A founding partner of the E. O Group, George Yaw Owusu, credited with the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantities in Ghana, has vehemently denied claim that, former President John Kufuor, used him and his colleague as fronts to chip away substantial part of the natural mineral to himself.
Mr. Owusu, who worked in the Petrochemical industry for 27 years, said accusations that he and his co-partner, held 3.5 percent of the deal as fronts for ex-President Kufuor, was the figment of the imagination of his accusers, because as far as he was concerned, he owed E.O Group together with his partner, Kwame Barwuah Edusei.
This comes ten years after, Mr. Owusu and his company in partnership with others, found oil off the shores of Ghana with then President Kufuor, largely accused as the hidden face behind E.O Group.
In a question posed to him by Peace FM’s Kwami Sefa Kayi as to whether the ex-President was the owner of the oil company, at the launch of his book, “In Pursuit of Jubilee”, Mr. Owusu, who sounded very eager to answer the question said “Well, I am very glad you asked the question and I have to stand up and answer”.
Sir, I didn’t know Mr. Kufuor from Adam. The first time I saw Mr. Kufuor was when he came to Houston in 2000, as a candidate and he inspired us. He told us, you guys live in a petrochemical geographical capital of the world, Ivory Coast, has oil, Nigeria has oil, why don’t we?
He continued “and for my company with Mr. Kwame Edusei, the only time we saw Kufuor was when we brought business to the Castle just like anybody does. But all of a sudden, people didn’t understand how somebody from nowhere, from Houston, will come in and find this success, because it was very difficult for people to understand, to believe, so they had to cast aspersions and come out with all kinds of lies….I don’t want to use a word, but in your own English nonsense, excuse me”.
Then for emphasize, the host Sefa Kayi, asked again “So the 3.5 percent belongs to you and Barwuah Edusei? Then Mr. Owusu replied, “100%”.
The environmental scientist in a rhetorical question asked, “But let me ask a question, even if Kufuor gave it to me, let us assume, how will Mr. Kufuor, know exactly where to give me from Half Assini all the way to Aflao?
He then told the gathering, people did not only want to share in his glory ten years ago, when he helped to find oil, but they actually wanted to take the whole thing from him.
According to him, it was as a result of that intention that, he was continuously interrogated by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States of America (USA).
“Well, I don’t think they wanted to be part of it. People wanted to take it away from me, that was what people did, that was part of the whole investigations.
I was interrogated 23 times, 13 times by the CID and BNI at Tullow and Anadarko Petroleum, and they had to send me to the United States Justice Department and FBI. I was interrogated by the FBI for 12 hours, because they thought or someone told them, I had bribed government officials”, he narrated his ordeal.
E.O, which specializes in oil and gas exploration and production, was initials of the two partners, Kwame Barwuah Edusei and George Owusu, who formed it in 2002 and partnered the Ghana National Petroleum Authority (GNPC), Kosmos Energy and Anadarko, to discover oil in commercial qualities in the jubilee field in the offshore Tano/Cape Three Points Basin
Asked if he would want to risk his life and time to do what he did to get Ghana oil, he could not say either yes or no, except to say “I have to think about it”.
While recounting his ordeal, he said “It feels so good that my dream has been fulfilled” and asked that “We encouraged our own”.
The energy and investment consultant said, he derives so much joy in the fact that companies which hitherto wouldn’t want to come here, are now trooping in to do business, the local content bill, has been passed and a lot of Ghanaians, have gotten jobs to do, making him a fulfilled man.
He said, “I am a product of Ghana and of this community. Everything I have been fortunate to achieve and helped my country to achieve, I am particularly hopeful that, I can encourage others to do the same”.
The event held at luxurious Movenpick Ambassador Hotel last Thursday evening in Accra, was attended by high profile members of the Ghanaian society, including politicians across the divide and others from outside the shores of Ghana.
The 361 page and 44 chapter book, tells effort by the author, George Yaw Owusu to get his company, the E.O Group to partner other oil companies, which before dreaded coming to Ghana after many years of searching for the product without success.
He also talked about events after the discovery of oil in 2007, immediately governments changed and how Mr. Owusu, had to sell his 3.5 share of the 90 percent owned by private oil companies, because of the political lenses and games that were played at the time.
Speaker upon speaker, including the host of the event Sefa Kayi, reiterated the need for Ghanaians, especially politicians from the two major parties, to refrain from politicizing everything which leads to victimization of innocent people whose quest is to make the country better.
A former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Prof. Stephen Adei, who served as chairman for the occasion, said the unending politicization of every issue, has led to not tapping into fully the many human resources and potentials.
The outspoken professor said, Ghana, could not continue on that tangent, as it celebrates 60 years of independence, adding that there was the need to celebrate people such as Mr. Owusu and many others, who initiated investment and programmes, to help develop the country, but could not live long enough to tell their story.
He said, it was time to say enough of all the negatives that have only derailed the nation and say “we can turn things around and I say yes”. According to him to achieve this also, all forms of corruption needs to be brought to the lowest level and pursue honesty, discipline to create the enabling environment for people to flourish in their businesses.
In a quick review of the book, Pastor Demay Alabi, described it as “explosive and unpredictable” and urged all to get copies to experience the story behind the oil find which is in its 10th year.
Former boss of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) Moses Asaga, gave a brief insight about happening in parliament then, when oil, sometimes referred to as “black gold” was found for the first in large quantities and the discussions in the August House.
While commending Mr. Owusu for his contribution and his engagement with him in and outside the shores of the country, the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Nabdam in the Upper East, said “I find in George Owusu, a very fine character”.
The immediate past NPA boss, joined calls to end the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which he is a member and New Patriotic Party (NPP) politicking. “This NDC-NPP, we need to work at it”, he said.
Mr. Owusu, is the principal at Mansa Capital, an international private equity firm, Mansa Energy and Ocean Capital. He together with his wife runs the George and Angelina Owusu Foundation, a non-profit organization, which focuses on initiatives in education, healthcare and economic development in Ghana.
A copy of the book will go for Ghc60 and the proceeds will go to charity. Among the dignitaries were former Minister of Trades and Industry, Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah, editor in-chief of the New Crusading Guide, Kwaku Baako jnr., Deputy Majority Leader, Joe Osei-Owusu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), Senyo Hosi .