Tsatsu Tsikata Dragging KT Hammond To Court

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…As Kwakye Ofosu Exposes NPP Naked Hatred For An Illustrious Ghanaian

The Herald’s impeccable sources close to Tsatsu Tsikata, have revealed that the ex-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) was preparing to drag the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, Kwabena Tahir Hammond to court, over some frivolous claims against him, including calling him “a criminal”.

It is not clear, how soon the case will be filed, but when it does come on, it will be the first ever direct confrontation Mr. Tsikata, will be having with KT Hammond, who has never refrained from shadowboxing Tsatsu in the media, since 2001 when he became Deputy Energy Minister.

Mr. Tsikata, has also suffered open hatred in the hands of the Kufuor administration, including being jailed in the absence of his lawyer after an almost 8-year criminal trial full of intrigues and political innuendos, some of which came from the trial judge, Justice Henrietta Abban, now a retired Court of Appeal Judge.

Most assets he bought for the GNPC, including the Drillship Discoverer 511, were disposed off. Experts he recruited were either victimized and sacked or had to leave under strange circumstances.

Indeed, a July 2003 Forensic report done under the auspices of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and PriceWaterHouse Coopers, revealed the hatred for Tsatsu.

For instance, whilst Tsikata was on trial, charged with three counts of wilfully causing financial loss of GH¢ 230,000 (2.3 billion old Ghana cedis) to the State through a loan, he on behalf of GNPC, guaranteed for Valley Farms, a private cocoa producing company, the Kufuor government was busily pocketing proceeds of some of his GNPC investments, including Westel; a telecom company, which was later sold to Zein, and now Airtel.

Again, GNPC, through Tsatsu Tsikata, became a partner to the respected ECOBANK Ghana Limited. Tsatsu was recently awarded by the Bank for being part of its growth, as one of the leading banks in Ghana.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Communications Minister, has berated the erstwhile NPP for discriminating against four top employees of the GNPC in the payment of ex-gratia.

Felix Kwakye Ofosu, disclosed that there was documentation to show that past employees of the Corporation, who were shown the exit in 2002 under the Kufuor administration, were paid their ex-gratia entitlements.

However, the same administration, out of political expediency, decided not to pay the entitlements of former Chief Executive Officers, Tsatsu Tsikata and Nana Boakye Asafoadgyei, as well as the Director of Public Affairs, Esther Cobbah, and Benjamin Dagadu, Field Evaluation and Development Manager, Kwakye Ofosu, averred on Joy FM’s Newsfile programme, on Saturday.

Interestingly, as at 2002, KT Hammond, who went crying and claiming criminality in the payment as a decoy away from the GNPC drillship issues, was a Deputy Energy Minster in the John Kufuor administration, when the selective payments Mr. Kwakye Ofosu, talked about were made.

In fact, it was from the position of Deputy Energy Minister that TK Hammond claimed he was sent by the Kufuor government to sell the GNPC’s Discoverer 511 to settle a judgement debt owed French bank, Societe Generale, as a result of non-legal representation of the GNPC in a UK High court.

He was contributing to the approval of some ex-gratia payment to the four employees by the John Mahama appointed GNPC Board.

The over 5 million cedis payment has been described as “criminal” by the NPP Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, Kwabena Tahir Hammond.

But the GNPC Board, defended the payments, describing it as valid payments to employees, who have provided invaluable service to the country.

Three of the four employees, have yet to receive the payment.

The GNPC has, meanwhile been summoned to Parliament to explain the circumstances under which the payments were approved and some paid.

Discussing the matter on Newsfile, Kwakye-Ofosu, defended the action by the GNPC Board to make the payments to the four.

He said, the Board was merely correcting the error unfairly committed by the NPP administration.

When asked why the four did not insist on their rights of payment of the ex-gratia under the NPP administration, Kwakye Ofosu, said under a hostile NPP, Tsikata and co, could not possibly demand payment of an ex-gratia.

“Tsikata was so harassed and chased to church,” he said, how was he going to demand his ex-gratia under such circumstances.

He said, Tsikata under the post NPP administration, made efforts to access his ex-gratia and that appears to have yielded dividends.

In a reaction the Director of Communications of the NPP Nana Akomea said assuming that Tsikata was harassed what stopped the other three from demanding what is rightfully theirs?

“How come it has taken almost seven years for the four to be paid this amount? he asked further.

He is convinced some of the Board members of the GNPC Board are close associates to Tsikata and may have facilitated payment to the former employees.

He welcomed the investigation by Parliament, and hoped the House, would do a thorough job at unravelling the circumstances under which the payments were made.

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