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General News of Thursday, 25 October 2012

Source: The New Crusading Guide

No case against Akufo-Addo in Rockshell scandal

Contrary to media reports and propaganda effusions from Dr. Tony Aidoo, Kofi Wayo and Dr. Clement Apaak, it has emerged that nowhere in the High Court Ruling of July 15, 2010 relative to Suit No.RPC/86/09 involving UNIEX Ghana Limited (Plaintiff) and Rockshell INTERNATIONAL Limited (Defendant) did the presiding judge, Her Ladyship Mrs. Cecilia H. Sowah J., make a definitive finding or ruling to the effect that Nana Akufo-Addo, Kwadwo Mpiani and the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu had allegedly demanded 50% of a judgement debt claim Rockshell International Limited had made on the Government of Ghana (GoG) in 2005.

A critical scrutiny of the said judgement shows that the Judge rather found as a fact that Mr. Markin (representing the Plaintiff – UNIEX Ghana Limited) “made representations to Dr. Tei (representing the defendant – Rockshell) about “using” political connections and paying government officials to push through defendant’s claim, representations which induced the defendant to enter into the agreement exhibit C”.

This finding of fact by the Judge, according to legal analysts, did not mean that the court had concluded that indeed Akufo-Addo and company were behind Mr. Markin’s representation to Dr. Tei about ‘using” political connections to procure the judgement debt payment for Rockshell International.

Mr. Markin, is a leading member of ruling NDC, a known Mills loyalist and the current Chairman of the Board of the Ghana Railway Authority. He was appointed to that position by the Mills Administration in 2009.

Rockshell’s Affidavit in opposition had indicated that “sometime late 2005 during another unsolicited call at the residence of Dr. Tei (Executive Chairman of Rockshell), Mr. Markin (Executive Chairman of UNIEX Limited) again told Dr. Tei that top Ministers in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government had agreed to help him retrieve the money owed to the Defendant but that the amount they were demanding as their share was so high that he would have to be paid 50% of the claim in order to enable him to take care of the demands of the said Government Ministers”.

According to the record of proceedings at the Court, during the said discussion, in order to induce Dr. Tei to enter into a contract with him, Mr. Markin made the following representations:

(a) that he (Mr. Markin) was a financial consultant and a broker (an assertion he had previously made to induce Dr. Tei to sign the letter dated December 30, 2004);

(b) that Plaintiff Company was a financial and brokerage firm (an assertion he had previously made to induce Dr. Tei to sign the letter dated December 30, 2004);

(c) that he had negotiated the payment of the claim with the then Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Mpiani and the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nana Akufo-Addo as well as the then Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, and that payment will be made once they see that there was written agreement between Defendant Company and Plaintiff for the payment of 50% of the claim to Plaintiff Company”.

Mr. Markin denied the above averments by Dr. Tei, and described them as “scandalous and complete fabrications”. The Defendant also averred that Mr. Markin had made FALSE REPRESENTATIONS above himself, his company and having discussions with Ministers (Ref: Paragraph 12 of Statement of Defence).

“In respect of pleadings as to the representations made by Mr. Markin, Dr. Tei testified that Mr. Markin had informed him on several occasions that he had seen some government officials who had assured him that they would intercede to get defendant’s claim settled.

He said he signed exhibit C because Mr. Markin told him he had to show the agreement to those officials to assure them that they would be paid”, noted Justice Cecilia Sowah.

While recalling that government had withheld payment to the “Defendant for over 18 years, the judge underscored that at the time exhibit C was signed, the matter had been in court for a year and the Defendant was trying to negotiate an out of Court Settlement with the Attorney General, however the matter was still dragging.

I dare say that most people in those circumstances would have been induced by any representations that assured them of prompt payment”.

Interestingly, the Court also noted that there were marked similarities in the agreement which were the subject matter of Suit No. RPC/86/09 and the agreement between Faroe Atlantic Company represented by Dr. Tei and the plaintiff.

“Plaintiff’s transactions with Faroe Atlantic and Delta Foods Limited were introduced to show that plaintiff had been providing consultancy services for Dr. Tei prior to the agreements in this suit.

However, an important point that came out of the Faroe Atlantic issue is that SIMILAR REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT POLITICAL CONNECTIONS WERE MADE BY THE PLAINTIFF WHICH CAME TO NOTHING… DR. TEI SAID THE FAROE ATLANTIC AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED AFTER MR. MARKIN HAD MADE REPRESENTATIONS OF SEEING INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE TO REVERSE THE SUPREME COURT DECISION. HE SAID MR. MARKIN WAS PROMISED US$1,144,600 PER EXHIBIT T IF HE PULLED IT OFF BUT THE MONEY WAS NOT PAID BECAUSE THE PLAINTIFF FAILED TO DELIVER. THIS EVIDENCE WAS NOT CHALLENGED”, emphasised Justice Cecilia Sowah.

“It is within this context that any rational being should see the value of exhibit C which the plaintiff and defendant entered into on January 13, 2006. The latter agreement was induced by Markin allegedly to get Nana Addo, Kwadwo Mpiani and the late Baah-Wiredu to effect payment to Rockshell, and yet inspite of the execution of that agreement, the defendant still did not get his money. Why?”, queried a legal analyst.

The legal analyst also noted that at no time in the course of the litigation did Dr. Tei indicate that he had proof of Mr. Markin’s purported dealings with the named top NPP Ministers on one hand or did any of the NPP Ministers deal with him (Dr. Tei) on the other as proof of Mr. Markin’s alleged representations.

“The fact that the Court did not find it necessary to invite or subpoena Nana Addo and Kwadwo Mpiani to testify should underscore the poverty of the allegation against the two gentlemen, and the weight and value placed on that aspect of the Defendant’s Affidavit.

The issue was with the credibility and the integrity of the representations the plaintiff had made to induce the Defendant to enter into exhibits A & C, especially the latter which had failed to achieve its stated objective in January 2006 when it was signed and executed.

If it was true that exhibit C was a pre-condition for Nana Akufo-Addo & Co., to help effect payment to Rockshell, then why didn’t it achieve its objective?”, queried the legal analyst.

In conclusion, the legal analyst found it significant that Mr. Markin’s purported efforts to facilitate the judgement debt payment to Rockshell began after Akufo-Addo had exited the office of Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, and wondered what the then Minister of Foreign Affairs had to do with the payment of judgement debt which had nothing to do with Ghana’s external commercial relations or business interest.

“Clearly, this is an infantile but futile attempt to question the impeccable anti-corruption credentials of the NPP Flagbearer in the heat of Election 2012 Campaign. It is manifestly unsustainable and smacks of a vicious kindergarten propaganda stunt not worthy of any serious attention. It is a story meant for the Marines”, he observed.

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