˘34bn Compensation Still Mystery

Government's payment of a whopping Gh˘3.4million (˘34 billion) to a beneficiary, whose two wood processing companies were purportedly confiscated in the heat of the revolution in the 1980s, still remains a mystery. This is because all the relevant institutions that handled the payment process claim they do not have detailed information on the said transaction except a memo signed by the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu in December 2006 authorizing the payment of ˘34,758,343,331. Details unknown Records at the Commission of Enquiry investigating payments of judgement debts indicated that Nana Emmanuel Duke Woode was paid the amount in 2006 after he got a default judgement for the confiscation of his companies-Holex Ghana Limited and Priorities Ghana Limited, all located at Akim Oda in the Eastern Region. The Attorney General’s Department, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP), as well as the Controller and Accountant General’s Department have all testified before the Commission that they have limited information on the transaction. The Confiscated Assets Committee, represented by J.K. Mensah, has also denied knowledge of the confiscation of two wood processing companies. Asikkua Agambila, Executive Secretary of Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC), had already testified that the DIC had no idea about the transaction, saying “the two companies have never been a subject for divestiture.” “We would think that at the time that the companies were confiscated in those circumstances, it is most likely they would have been handed over to the Confiscated Assets Committee located at the Castle and not to the DIC,” Mr. Agambila had explained. MoFEP is aware Yesterday, Kwadwo Awuah Peasah, MoFEP’s Director in charge of External Resouce Mobilization (Bilateral), told Sole-Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau that the ministry was aware of the payment of ˘34,758,343,331 but did not have all the documents to tender in evidence. “I was going through the documents and saw a memo from the Legal Division in December 2006. It appeared a directive was given to the division to compile all outstanding debts and the ˘34,758,343,331 was part of it,” he said. “We were not able to locate the original file to tell how the case generated the debt.” Controller’s Order Andrews Kingsley Kwadwo Kufeh, Deputy Controller in charge of Treasuries, flanked by Ali Gomda Abdul-Samad, also gave testimony in the matter and said they processed the payment. “Documents available show we got instructions from the ministry to enables us effect the payment. The request letter was written on December 29, 2006 and we faithfully responded by processing it to the Bank of Ghana, who also made the payment on January 4, 2007,” he said. “We were not able to lay our hands on the originating documents that warranted the payment. So far as the documentation is concerned we had limited information concerning the transaction.” CP A Chief Manager at the Banking Department of the BoG, Kweku Hammond, assisted by Saviour Kudze of the Legal Department, was also asked to tender in evidence copies of exemplary statements of accounts and transfer orders pertaining to Construction Pioneers (CP). He said the bank did not have copies of exemplary statements of accounts and transfer orders because it was supposed to be given by the bankers of CP and the bank was in Zurich, Switzerland. On the transfer orders, Mr. Hammond said “our search did not reflect the specific amount stated in the subpoena.” “We made payments for work done by CP over a certain period.” He said the Central Bank’s records did not reflect the 1.142,293.45 million Deutsche Marks as well as the 859,719.13 million Deutsche Marks in February and April respectively as requested by the Commission. He, however, said that in December 1996 the bank made a transfer of 1.411,722.51 million Deutsche Marks, as well as another transfer of 4.477,488.96 million Deutsche Marks in 1995 in respect of work done by CP in the country.