I DID NO WRONG
Mpiani Tells Critics
He was vilified, called names, smeared with obnoxious dirt and virtually pronounced guilty in the infamous Isofoton judgment debt saga by proponents of a so called Sunlight Campaign by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), but with a single telephone call, Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, a Former Chief of Staff and Minister of Presidential Affairs under the erstwhile Kufuor administration, has dimmed the light of the widely condemned selective campaign.
He told Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, host of Joy FMs and MultiTVs news analysis programme Newsfile, last Saturday that his actions and inactions in the Isofoton transaction were beyond reproach.
Government Spokespersons with a Deputy Information Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, as their arrowhead in their Sunlight Campaigns on judgment debts, have berated Mpiani for abrogating the contract the Ministry of Agriculture duly signed with Isofoton and awarding it to another Spanish Company.
That decision by Mr. Mpiani, according to the government, had led to a judgment debt of $1.3 million in favour of the Spanish company.
The former Chief of Staff was reported to be out of town when the Isofoton judgment debt saga broke out but the Sunlight Campaigners branded his silence as deafening and a sign of guilt.
Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani called into the show and argued that contrary to claims that he breached the Isofoton contract and awarded it to Elecnor, he followed religiously the agreement in the Spanish Protocol signed with Government of Ghana in 2006.
He adduced a letter written by the Ministry of Finance dated 13th April, 2007, to the Attorney General which sought to dismiss claims of breach of contract and corresponding damages being made by Isofoton against the Government of Ghana.
Per that letter, it was only the Ministry of Finance which had the authority to sign a contract with any Spanish company under the Spanish Protocol agreed with Government.
According to the said letter, a copy of which is in the possession of The New Crusading GUIDE and published fully above, Isofoton SA had no valid contract with the Government of Ghana.
Its instructive to note that MFA (Ministry of Agriculture) in its letter of 4th April, 2006 admitted in paragraph 2 of the letter that, the beneficiary Ministries were to identify competent Spanish Companies to execute projects and not to sign contracts with them. MFAs contract with ISOFOTON could, therefore, not have been authorised or approved by MOFEP on behalf of GoG. In this regard, the Contract cannot be valid as far as the procedures and terms of the Protocol are concerned, the then Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Nana Juabeng-Boaten Siriboe, wrote on behalf of the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
The letter also spelt out the procedures for the award of contract and the implementation of the Protocol.
The letter indicated that, the contract Isofoton was claiming to have with the government was not properly procured and not signed by the appropriate institution; the Finance Ministry- and was justly abrogated.
IN ANY CASE, ASSUMING WITHOUT ADMITTING THAT MFAS CONTRACT WITH ISOFOTON IS VALID, ARTICLE 26 OF THE CONTRACT PROPERLY CONSTRUED INDICATES THAT, THE CONTRACT IS ONLY ENFORCEABLE UPON FULFILLMENT OF ALL THE CONDITIONS PRECEDENT. ARTICLE 26 PROVIDES THATTHIS AGREEMENT SHALL ENTER INTO FORCE WHEN ALL THE FORMALITIES SET FORTH HEREUNDER ARE FULFILLED.
The conditions precedent required to be fulfilled included All approvals by the relevant Ghanaian Authorities have been obtained All approvals by the relevant Spanish Authorities have been obtained.
After stating and assessing the formalities, the letter continued that: FROM THE FOREGOING, ITS OBVIOUS THAT THESE APPROVALS HAVE NOT BEEN AND WILL NOT BE GRANTED ISOFOTON. ON WHAT BASIS CAN ISOFOTON THEREFORE SUE FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT AND CLAIM DAMAGES?
We hope these comments will be useful in defending the case, should there be one at all by ISOFOTON, the letter concluded.
He also dispelled the widely held notion by his critics that he unilaterally abrogated the contract. Instead, he explained, the decision to abrogate that contract and award it to a new company was taken by a Committee Chaired by him.
According to him, the new companies were selected after due process was followed which included informing the Ghana Embassy in Spain to shortlist the companies.
He said the committee then notified the Finance Ministry about the new company suggested by the Agency contacted by the Ghana Embassy in Spain.
It would be recalled that a couple of weeks ago, Mr. Ablakwa alleged that the former Chief of Staff ignored several warnings of a possible judgement debt if the government went ahead to abrogate the contract with Isofoton S A.
Reading a March 21 2006 letter he purported was written by Mr. Mpiani, Ablakwa said the former Chief of Staff directed the Ministers of Energy and Agric to cancel any dealings with Isofoton and choose Elecnor to implement the projects.
He said the Minister of Agric in a 4 April 2006 replied the letter in which he cautioned that the letter by Mr. Mpiani was problematic and could open up the government to legal action. A June 4, 2008 letter written by then Attorney General, Mr. Joe Ghartey was also flagged to reinforce the point that M. Mpiani and the NPP Administration had illegally abrogated the Isofoton contract.
According to Ablakwa, the Spanish government wrote to the Government of Ghana cautioning against the breach of contract and warning it will take legal action against Ghana, but, Mr. Mpiani was headstrong.
Stay tuned for more revelations.
Source: Gordon Asare-Bediako/New Crusading Guide/Ghana
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