Kweku Baako Jnr., Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, believes the former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, was somewhat left off-the-hook when he appeared before the Sole Commissioner to assist in investigations into the sale of a drill ship Discoverer 511.
The ship which was sold for 24 million dollars has since been tainted with controversy, hence calling for the Judgment debt Commission.
Mr. Tsikata, appearing before the Commission, indicated that during his tenure; "there was no judgment or judgment debt against GNPC or Government of Ghana as far as December 2000, and GNPC was still a corporate body that can sue and be sued.”
According to him, at the time he left office, the case was still pending in a London High Court, which was defended by Bindman and Partners when the erstwhile Kufour government assumed office in 2001.
This he said contrary to earlier claims that the case had already been thrown out of court.
He further told the Commission that "though the GNPC owed SG over $40 million, it was due to various credit transactions between them since 1997, which, from all indications, SG was prepared to compromise and accept $20 million," as published in the Wednesday edition of the Chronicle newspaper.
"At a point in time, the GNPC and its legal team, which was Bindman and Partners, managed to beat down the debt to $12 million, however, in the course of the process of the negotiation, he (Tsikata) left office," he added.
But contributing to Peace FM's political analysis programme, Kweku Baako posited that the Commission seemed to have made some omissions when he (Tsastu Tsikata) appeared before it.
According to him, the Commission failed to ask him certain pertinent questions and so, held that the silence of the Commission was an indictment on the proceedings.
“Was there a question posed to Mr. Tsikata that GNPC was indebted or not, 40 million dollars? Look, that loud absence or silence on that particular question is a telling telling indictment”
He explained that the claim by Mr. Tsikata that "they filed a claim of 40 million should have triggered further interrogation by the Council for the Commission…It’s a singular omission. Look, I just cannot understand and believe it.
“He posed his own question and proceeded to answer it…Nobody has said that during his time, there was a judgment debt; judgment debt means it’s been given an order of a court. What has been said was that GNPC has been saddled with the debt of 40 million dollars plus and that the judgment was delivered since June, 2001. At that time, you were not there. So, that point he made was an unnecessary gloss.”