A press conference organised by government to supposedly expose the flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in the ongoing judgment debt saga, turned out to clear him of any wrongdoing.
Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa had served notice of governments preparedness to expose Nana Addos involvement in a massive judgment debt scandal which eventually turned out to be his advice as then Attorney-General and Minister of Justice for government to pay an amount of $1.1million to the Great Cape Company of Switzerland.
What baffled most was that the substantive Minister of Information, Fritz Baffour, had to introduce his deputy minister, Ablakwa, to address the press conference whilst he acted as MC for the occasion.
Before his appointment as a minister, Fritz Baffour had told a gathering at La Palm Beach Hotel in 2010 that his constituents called him MC MP, indicating that he is known best at emceeing at public functions.
When Mr Ablakwa took the microphone to engage in political equalisation, he virtually ended up exonerating Nana Addo. We havent said that Nana Addo has engaged in any wrongdoing, he said, indicating that it was an attempt to draw Nana Addo into the judgment debt saga.
Okudzeto, who is leading the NDC propaganda in the judgment debt conundrum, was answering a question on whether or not the NPP presidential candidate committed any wrongdoing in recommending the payment to the Swiss company.
Present were Deputy Interior Minister Kobby Acheampong and Kojo Twum-Boafo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB) and other members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) communications team and some party footsoldiers.
Ablakwa and his other colleague Deputy Information Minister, James Agyenim Boateng, quoted two letters dated April 18, 2001 and October 3, 2011 written and signed by Nana Akufo-Addo in which he sought to confirm the countrys indebtedness to the said company.
The Controversial Letter
In the recent of the two letters which they claimed was an indictment on the flagbearer in supporting the payment of judgment debt, addressed to Dr Nat Tanoh, which he copied then Attorney-General Martin Amidu and Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor and captioned Re: Letter and signature; Nana Addo stated, This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 20th September 2011, requesting my assistance in the settlement of governments long-standing indebtedness to Great Cape of Switzerland.
I am somewhat disturbed by its contents, which have led to the unusual request contained in the letter. It is disconcerting that public record keeping has fallen into such straits that the files on this matter cannot be found either in the Ministry of Justice or in the Ministry of Finance. Be that as it may, it would be unconscionable on the part of government if its own poor record keeping is used to defeat legitimate claims of its creditors.
He continued, I have a vague recollection of the transaction, and can readily confirm that the signature on the letter ILD/SCR/002 dated 18th April 2001, addressed to the Minister of Finance, attached to your letter, is indeed mine.
I am also sending a copy to the Minister of Finance. I hope this is satisfactory for your purpose.
This, according to Mr. Ablakwa, was an indication that he (Nana Addo) had been busily advocating behind the scenes that the Great Cape Company of Switzerland be paid an additional $1,117,818.45 in what he calls Great Capes legitimate claims.
When confronted with the issue of whether or not the NPP flagbearer indeed committed any wrongdoing, Mr Ablakwa said, Indeed, we have said in the statement that we are not here to pass judgment. We are only applying the NPPs logic on them that in the face of this new revelation, will all their standards apply that if you agree with a companys claim, if you say that the company has a legitimate claim on government then it means you are in for kickbacks, then it means that they are your cronies, you have share in it, you are a stealer and all of that.
We are only asking questions that this is only a judgment or a liability press conference because as we speak, Isofoton was demanding $1.3million. These people are also demanding $1.1million and as the NPP flagbearer has said, it is unconscionable not to pay them. We have to pay them. It is another judgment debt, he said.
Fiifi Kweteys Face-Off
Another Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Fifi Kwetey, who was also at the function, had a brush with Richard Sky of Citi FM when the latter questioned governments condemnation of what it claimed to be illegal abrogation of contractual obligations when indeed the same NDC government had abrogated a petroleum agreement with a Norwegian company AKER ASA and Chemu Power Company Limited, in respect of the South Deep Water Tano Contract Area which was unanimously ratified by Parliament.
He sought to expose governments double standards in accusing NPP of abrogating legitimate contracts.
Fifi Kwetey sought to rubbish his claim, treating it with pettiness whilst raising doubts about the journalists integrity, claiming that he was seeking to justify a wrongdoing.
The journalist described the deputy ministers reaction as pedestrian, a comment which attracted condemnation from Mr. Ablakwa.
Interestingly, somewhere last year, Mr Ablakwa claimed on Radio Golds Alhaji and Alhaji programme that governments decision to abrogate the petroleum agreement with AKER SA had earned the country over $1billion as contained in the following internet link http://business.peacefmonline.com/industry/201108/60099.php
The unfounded accusation against Nana Addo, political analysts believed, was aimed at equalising the Woyome judgment debt scandal of GH˘51.2 million in which Woyome personally denied having any contract with government.
Source: Daily Guide
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