The cat is now out of the bag! It is as clear as daylight! The New Crusading GUIDE has in its possession evidence to the effect that former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata has been playing an active role in the investigations being conducted by the Attorney General’s office into the acquisition of exploration and production rights in Ghana’s Jubilee Oil Fields by the Kosmos/EO Group in June/July 2004.
Until this paper stumbled upon the evidence, Mr. Tsikata’s role had been largely a matter of speculation and conjecture in sections of the local and international media and within the corridors of the oil industry.
However, last week, our research counterparts in San Francisco, California, United States of America (USA), WERE ABLE TO ‘INTERCEPT’ ENOUGH MATERIAL OF GREAT EVIDENTIAL VALUE WHICH CONCLUSIVELY ESTABLISHED A LINKAGE BETWEEN MR. TSIKATA ON ONE HAND AND GHANA’S ATTORNEY GENERAL, BETTY MOULD-IDDRISU, DUKE AMANIAMPONG, A GHANAIAN LAWYER RESIDENT IN USA AND MR. KWEKU MORTEY, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GHANA’S SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE (SFO) ON THE OTHER HAND, AS FAR AS THE KOSMOS/EO GROUP INVESTIGATIONS ARE CONCERNED.
The ‘evidential material’ courtesy sources close to Duke Amonaimpong, clearly underscored Mr. Tsikata’s directive to Attorney-General Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Duke Amaniampong and Kweku Mortey, to study a ‘press release’ dated February 11, 2009 on what he (Tsikata) saw as “A LOT HAPPENING ON THE FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT (FCPA) FRONT”.
The material under reference sourced to www.halliburton.com, indicated an announcement issued by Halliburton of a settlement by US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) following a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Investigations.
The ‘Halliburton Investigations’ had commenced in 2003 as a result of allegations of improper payments to government officials in Nigeria through the use of agents or subcontractors in connection with the construction and subsequent expansion by a joint venture known as TSKJ of a natural gas liquefaction project on Bonny Island, Nigeria, in which Halliburton’s former subsidiary, KBR, Inc, had an approximate 25 percent interest.
On February 11, 2009, a subsidiary of KBK pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the FCPA and to substantive counts charging violations of the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA in connection with the Bonny Island project.
“APPARENTLY, AN EYE-RED MR. TSIKATA HAD A HUNCH THAT SOMETHING SIMILAR MIGHT HAVE TRANSPIRED IN THE KOSMOS/EO GROUP’S DEALINGS WITH THE GNPC IN JULY 2004, HENCE HIS DECISION TO CALL THE ATTENTION OF BETTY MOULD-IDDRISU, DUKE AMANIAMPONG AND KWEKU MORTEY TO ‘A LOT HAPPENING ON FCPA FRONT”’, disclosed the sources close to Duke Amaniampong in San Francisco, California, USA, who happened to have had access to the Tsikata directive, courtesy Amaniampong.
They (sources) further intimated that Duke Amaniampong, motivated by Mr. Tsikata’s directive and/or information, quickly communicated his ‘confirmed itenary’ to both Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu and Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata on November 7, 2009, just a day after Mr. Tsikata’s ‘red alert’ (directive/information). Mr. Tsikata’s ‘red flag notice’ was issued on November 6, 2009.
Duke Amaniampong indicated that he would arrive in Accra on November 23, 2009 and leave December 2, 2009 and be back again in Accra on December 21, 2009 and exit on January 9, 2010.
As part of his schedule, according to our San Francisco sources, MR. AMANIAMPONG PROPOSED THAT OFFICIALS OF KOSMOS AND TULLOW SHOULD BE INVITED FOR INTERVIEWS AND INTERROGATION BETWEEN NOVEMBER 24 AND 27 WHILE HE (AMANIAMPONG) WAS IN TOWN TO HELP THE AG’S DEPARTMENT IN ITS INVESTIGATIONS.
HE ALSO SUGGESTED THAT GHANA’S FORMER AMBASSADOR TO THE USA, DR. KWAME BAWUAH-EDUSEI, CO-PARTNER OF THE EO GROUP AND ALL MEMBERS OF THE GHANA GOVERNMENT/GNPC NEGOTIATION COMMITTEE WHICH DEALT WITH THE KOSMOS/EO GROUP / GNPC/ GOG JULY 24, 2004 PETROLEUM AGREEMENT SHOULD ALSO BE INTERVIEWED OR INTERROGATED.
Our sources at the AG’s Department have since confirmed Mr. Amaniampong’s presence in Ghana during the dates stated above, and his purported role in the investigations which is allegedly earning him about $25,000 per month (yet to be confirmed) in addition to some mouth-watering fringe benefits.
As readers would recall, The New Crusading GUIDE in its editions dated January 12, 2010 and January 14, 2010, revealed that A $2M FUNDED INVESTIGATION SPONSORED BY ANADARKO AND CONDUCTED BY A FIRST CLASS LAW FIRM, WILLKIE FARR & GALLAGHER LLP BASED IN WASHINGTON DC, USA, “HAD NOT, AFTER MUCH INVESTIGATION, FOUND ANY SPECIFIC VIOLATIONS OF THE FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT (FCPA)” BY EITHER KOSMOS OR THE EO GROUP OR BOTH IN TANDEM.
The $2m funded investigation also concluded that “although they (Willkie) had found a number of ‘red flags’ with respect to the activities of Mr. George Owusu and former Ambassador Bawuah Edusei, THEY HAVE NOT FOUND A ‘SMOKING GUN’ THAT WOULD LEAD THEM TO CONCLUDE THAT THERE HAD BEEN A FCPA VIOLATION”.
The above findings were contained in a summarized report presented to a meeting attended by Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Duke Amaniampong, Baffour Assasie-Gyimah, Robert Reeves and Luis Derrota (both of Anadarko), Martin Weinstein and Theodore Whitehouse (both of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP) at the offices of Willkie located at 1875 K Street, NW, Washington DC, on June 15, 2009.
The June 15, 2009 Washington meeting, was also told that the Willkie Team WAS NOT ABLE TO FIND ANY LINK BETWEEN A PROHIBITED ACT AND ANY GHANAIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL OR PARTY OFFICIAL, AND THAT WITHOUT SUCH A LINK THERE WAS NO VIOLATION OF THE FCPA. THE MEETING ALSO TOOK NOTE OF THE FACT THAT THE KOSMOS/EO GROUP CONCESSION WAS AWARDED PRIOR TO MR. EDUSEI’S APPOINTMENT AS AN AMBASSADOR THUS PUTTING THE PERCEIVED CONFLICT OF INTEREST ANGLE OF THE TRANSACTION TO REST BEYOND DOUBT.
The same Report went on to disclose that inspite of their dissatisfaction with answers provided by Kosmos and EO and the existence of “red flags”, Anadarko officials went to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on or about January 22, 2009, and informed the DOJ that “THEY (ANADARKO) HAD FOUND NO SPECIFIC EVIDENCE OF FCPA VIOLATIONS BUT THERE WAS A LOT OF ‘SMOKE’” AND THAT “BASED ON THEIR LACK OF FINDING A VIOLATION OF US LAW, ANADARKO TOLD DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE THAT IT WAS PREPARED TO SIGN THE CONTRACT OF DEVELOPMENT WITH RESPECT TO THE JUBILEE FIELDS”.
The Willkie Team, according to the same report, also met with the US Department of Justice officials on February 17, 2009 and provided them WITH MORE SPECIFICS, INCLUDING A BINDER THAT CONTAINED A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF DOCUMENTS BUT NO “SMOKING GUN” TO ENABLE THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ) TO JUSTIFY ITS (DOJ’S) INVESTIGATION INTO THE KOSMOS/EO GROUP’S STAKE IN GHANA’S JUBILEE OIL FIELDS.
In response to a question whether Anadarko was aware that in connection with the entry of Kosmos into the West Cape Three Points Petroleum Agreement, representatives of Kosmos held meetings with the then President of Ghana (J.A. Kufour), “THEY RESPONDED THAT THEY DID NOT KNOW. THEY DID SAY THAT THEY UNDERSTOOD THAT KOSMOS GENERALLY HAD ACCESS TO GHANAIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS”. (Records show that Anadarko and all other companies in Ghana had and still have similar and/or some access to Ghanaian government officials!).
Significantly, in response to the question with respect to whether their due diligence had enabled them (Anadarko) to understand why the terms of the West Cape Three Points Petroleum Agreement were “significantly different” from the terms of the Deepwater Tano Agreement, Mr. Reeves, General Counsel of Anadarko said that “HE DIDN’T THINK THE DIFFERENCES WERE DUE TO AN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY. INSTEAD HE ESSENTIALLY SAID THAT THE DIFFERENCES WERE PROBABLY THE RESULT OF MARKET FORCES”.
Both our AG Department and San Francisco sources expressed great surprise that inspite of the clear and solid evidence available to the Attorney General to the effect that there had been no specific violation of the FCPA, she (AG) would still allow Mr. Amaniampong and Mr. Tsitaka to propel the pursuit of a fruitless ‘fishing expedition’ in search of a non-existent crime at huge public expense.
“BY JUNE 2009, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND HER COLLABORATORS KNEW THAT CHASING A VIOLATION OF THE FCPA WAS BOUND TO BE A MIRAGE AND YET 5 MONTHS DOWN THE LINE IN NOVEMBER 2009, MR. TSIKATA WAS ALERTING THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ON ‘A LOT HAPPENING ON FCPA FRONT’ RELATIVE TO THE HALLIBURTON SAGA IN NIGERIA, WHILE HIS PROTÉGÉ (DUKE AMANIAMPONG) WAS BUSILY CONFIRMING HIS ITENARY TO ACCRA, GHANA, TO HELP INVESTIGATE KOSMOS/EO GROUP’S EQUITY IN THE JUBILEE OIL FIELDS WHICH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAD IN JULY 2009 DECLARED LEGAL AND ABOVE BOARD. WHAT SHEER WASTE OF TIME AND PUBLIC RESOURCES”, lamented a highly-placed official at the AG’s Department.
Stay tuned for more exclusive exposures on the unfolding Kosmos/EO Group saga and other very interesting developments in the Ghanaian Oil Industry.
Source: Special Investigations Team (SIT), New Crusading Guide/ Ghana
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