Rawlings, Kufuor In ‘Dog Fight’



 Former Presidents, Rawlings (right), Kufuor (left), interacting during a banquet in honour of visting President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday.The office of former President John Agyekum Kufuor has urged the Judgement Debt Commission to invite former President Jerry John Rawlings to appear before it and answer questions on how the drill ship belonging to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) was sold in 2001, to pay a debt owed Societe Generale.

According to Frank Agyekum, an aide to former President Kufuor, Flt.-Lt. Rawlings’ presence at the Commission was necessary because it was under his administration that the former Chief Executive Officer of GNPC, Tsatsu Tsikata incurred the debt.

Mr. Agyekum’s comments were a riposte to an earlier demand by a group calling itself, “Inside Ghana”, requesting the Commission to invite Mr. Kufuor and former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to testify in the matter.

The group claimed its request stemmed from testimonies given by a former Minister of Energy, Albert Ken-Dapaah and his deputy, Kwabena Tahir Hammond when they appeared before the Commission on Monday.

Both witnesses served in the Kufuor administration between 2001 and 2009.

The sale of the “Discovery 511” drill ship for 24 million United States dollars, out of which 3.5 million dollars was unaccounted for, remained a mystery which the Commission has attempted to unravel.

But, Mr. Agyekum maintained that his boss did nothing wrong, and rather took steps to restructure the corporation based on expert advice from competent committees, “set up to clear the mess that had been created at the corporation over the years”.

”If we want to stretch it to that far, then of course we should say that President Rawlings should answer for the things that Mr Tsatsu Tsikata did because it was President Rawlings who appointed Tsikata as Chief Executive”, Mr. Agyekum told the media on Thursday.

Mr. Agyekum, however, hinted that his boss would willingly avail himself to the Commission, if invited, but noted that the sword must cut both ways, if the argument of Inside Ghana was to be taken seriously.

Mr. Kofi Adams, the spokesperson for former President Rawlings has, however, rubbished the assertion of his successor, saying Mr. Kufuor cannot determine who should be invited to answer questions at the Commission.

“In any case the Sole Commissioner is not inviting former Presidents but individuals who have questions to answer.  Kufuor and Akufo-Addo have a lot to answer”, he said.

He contended that Mr. Ken-Dapaah said the decision to sell the drill ship was taken by cabinet, that at the time was headed by the then President John Agyekum Kufuor,

“Therefore, he must account for how the proceeds were disbursed and where the 3.5 million dollars went to”, Mr. Adams said.

According to him,  Flt.-Lt. Rawlings has nothing to hide, that was why he had always availed himself to any committee, but added, it is a shame his name is being linked to this matter by Mr. Kufuor’s office. By Ian Motey

 

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