Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has debunked portions of a leaked Judgement Debt Commission report that accused him and the Kufuor administration of causing financial loss to the state in the matter of the GNPC drill ship scandal.
He said it was sad that the commission which sat for a year did not find it courteous to invite him to make an appearance before it, even though he announced his readiness to do so.
The Sole Commissioner, Justice Yaw Apau, who was recently promoted to the Supreme Court, rather brushed Nana Addo’s request aside and went ahead to make damning pronouncements about him, saying that he had caused financial loss to the state for failing to defend the case.
The GNPC drill ship was used as collateral for services rendered by the bank.
Nana Akufo-Addo, in a statement issued by the NPP, said he would respond to the accusations when an official copy of the report of the commission is made available to him.
“We, however, want to state on authority that at no point was any financial loss to the state occasioned by Nana Akufo-Addo’s actions in the matter. The Kufuor government should rather be commended for rescuing the GNPC sinking ship under the NDC and setting it back on its true course,” the statement, issued and signed by the NPP’s Communications Director, Nana Akomea, said.
At a time Nana Akufo-Addo was Attorney General, the ship was sold by the Kufuor administration to defray a $19.5 million judgement debt owed Societe Generale Bank in 2001, it would be recalled.
The conclusion of the report was even more worrying, as it claimed that “Nana Addo’s ‘miserable’ failure to defend the state in court led to the judgement debt being higher than what Ghana would have paid.”
Continuing, the report stated that “this Commission holds the view that the payment of US$19.5 million instead of the US$14 million earlier on agreed, constituted financial loss to the Corporation and Ghana.”
In 1999, following a dispute between the GNPC and the Societe Generale Bank over some payments the bank expected the Corporation to make to it for services it had rendered, the bank turned to a legal action in a London High Court claiming an amount of US$40 million.
GNPC denied the claim, presenting a counterclaim against the bank through its external lawyers, Bindman and Partners of UK, on the ground that the financial institution had provided negligent advice to the Corporation.
The case dragged on until the then NDC government handed over power to the Kufuor administration which opened a fresh chapter of renegotiating with the bank on the subject.
The NDC, which assumed the political leadership of the country in 2009, decided to establish a commission of enquiry into how judgement debts came into being, with a view to finding out those responsible for the financial loss therein.
The long-drawn subject has become highly politicised, with political parties at each others’ throats over who should be blamed.
Nana Akufo-Addo’s accusation is yet another example of the continuing charges and counter-charges.
The report of the commission is neither out in the public domain nor available to persons whose names appear in the list of defaulters.
Only a few persons are privileged to lay hands on the leaked copies.
Source: A.R. Gomda/Daily Guide
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