The Acting Controller and Accountant General’s, Mrs. Grace Adzroe, yesterday told the Judgment Debt Commission that the balance of Ł1,008 in the drill ship account with the International Commercial Bank was transferred into another account (0001191610) in the same bank, but not the balance of the controversial $3.5 million.
The Controller and Accountant General’s Department was directed by the Ghana High Commission in the United Kingdom (London) to open the drill ship account at the International Commercial Bank in July 2001.
The account operated until 2005, when it was closed, and the balance of Ł1,008 transferred into another account, with the same International Commercial Bank.
She added that the High Commission requested that the balance be transferred into an account number 0001191610, which was not in the name of the drill ship or Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
The Acting Controller and Accountant General said this when she appeared before the Judgment Debt Commission in respect of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation’s Discoverer 511 bank account in the UK.
Mrs. Adzroe was subpoenaed by the Commission to help uncover details on the $3.5 million, which was the balance of proceeds made from the sale of the GNPC drill ship.
According to information before the Commission, the Discoverer 511 was sold for $24 million, with $19.5 million being used to offset GNPC’s indebtedness to Societé General (SG), as a result of a hedging agreement between the two entities which had gone sour.
An additional $1 million was also used for the payment of legal fees and other debts of the corporation. The bone of contention now is the whereabouts of the remaining $3.5 million.
Mrs. Adzroe tendered in evidence, a letter from the Ghana High Commission in London, directing the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to open the drill ship account.
He indicated to the commission that during the tenure of Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, the GNPC, upon advice from SG, undertook a derivative transaction and management of price risk in the early 1990s.
Under the deal, SG provided GNPC a credit line and regulated transactions that were acceptable, in respect of the Tano oil field project.
However, in 1999, SG sued GNPC in a London court to recover the debt owed them, but GNPC contested the SG claim, on the grounds that it incurred the loss due to bad advice they (SG) gave the corporation (GNPC).
It also came to light during the Commission’s sittings that the GNPC had no idea of the sale of the drill ship (Discovery 511) to clear the debt owed SG, and the one who ordered the sale of Discovery 511.
The Sole Commissioner, Justice Yaw Apau, was optimistic that gradually, the whole mystery surrounding the sale of the drill ship, and the whereabouts of the balance, would be unraveled.
Source: Maame Agyeiwaa Agyei/The Chronicle
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