General News of Monday, 4 November 2013
Former Energy Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, has described as a poorly executed “hatchet job”, a publication by the Herald Newspaper, which claimed US$10 million, rather than US$19.5 million, was paid to French Bank Societe Generale by the Government of Ghana after the sale of a drillship belonging to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
In a rejoinder to the Herald Newspaper, Kan-Dapaah said: “The Herald sought to create the impression that an amount of US$ 10 million was paid by the Government of Ghana in Accra in respect of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation’s (GNPC) indebtedness to Societé Generale in Accra in August 2001. This is clearly untrue. The payment to Societé Generale was for US$19.5 million and as stated earlier, was in July 2001”.
According to him, “the mischief and malice that has actuated Mr. [Larry] Dogbe and The Herald’s publication under reference are surprising but do not worry me”.
He insists “from 2001 when I assumed office as Energy Minister and at all material times, I always acted reasonably and in the interest of good sense and the interest of Ghana”.
The Discoverer 511 was sold for US$24 million in 2001 to defray an alleged judgment debt awarded against the GNPC in favour of Societe Generale.
US$3.5 million of the proceeds are still unaccounted for.
It has been a source of media controversy for the past few months after the issue surfaced at the Judgment debt Commission hearing.
Below is Albert Kan-Dapaah’s full rejoinder to the Herald Newspaper
HON. ALBERT KAN-DAPAAH
P.O. BOX AN 19405, ACCRA-NORTH TEL: 0244325000
November 4, 2013
PMB CT 443
RE: GNPC 24 MILLION DOLLAR DRILLSHIP SKELETON FOUND... KAN DAPAAH’S LETTER TO KUFUOR REVEALS US$ 10 MILLION NOT US$19.5 MILLION WAS PAID IN ACCRA NOT LONDON
Your front page lead story in the Wednesday October 30 to Thursday, October 31, 2013 issue of The Herald with the above referenced headline refers.
I am amazed at the penchant of Mr. Larry Dogbe and The Herald to consistently obfuscate and twist facts to suit a particular political agenda against my person.
In reading the story under reference, the following hatchet job was unprofessionally executed by Mr. Larry Dogbe, in which process he did a great disservice to himself and his training as a journalist:
1. The memo from which the conclusions are drawn could not have been written in August 2001. It was clearly written in the early days of the Kufuor administration which is why I referred to K.T. Hammond, Dr. G.A. Agambila and Ms. Gloria Akufo as Deputy Minister Designates. These descriptions, without more, show that at the time, these three persons had been nominated for approval by Parliament but had not been duly sworn in by H.E. President Kufuor as substantive Deputy Ministers. It was not until Hon. K.T. Hammond became a substantive Deputy Minister of Energy that he got involved deeply and rightly so with the matters under consideration culminating in the payment of US$19.5 million to Societé Generale in July 2001.
2. Mr. Dogbe and The Herald sought to create the impression that an amount of US$ 10 million was paid by the Government of Ghana in Accra in respect of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation’s (GNPC) indebtedness to Societé Generale in Accra in August 2001. This is clearly untrue. The payment to Societé Generale was for US$19.5 million and as stated earlier, was in July 2001.
3. Mr. Dogbe and The Herald failed to publish the attachment to my memo when the said memo clearly stated in paragraph two (2) thus “Attached is a letter he sent to me today subsequent to our meeting the previous day which records the issues we discussed at the meeting...” As to why Mr. Dogbe and The Herald chose not to publish the said attachment to my memo and instead proceeded in the publication under reference to make very weak and rather infantile deductions resulting in the conclusion that the sum of US$ 10 million and not US$ 19.5 million was paid in Accra and not London cannot be lost on any reasonable man. The publication under reference was just aimed at twisting and convoluting facts to create the impression that my good self, H.E. President Kufuor and his government have something to hide in respect of the sale of the Discoverer D511. I however wish to assure Mr Dogbe that his mission to introduce his own facts and twist same to suit his parochial political agenda will fail miserably because the facts he labours to purvey in respect of the sale of the Discover D511 are a matter of public record which record does not establish any underhand dealings on my part or on that of the government I dutifully served.
4. Anyone with a basic comprehension of the English Language will also appreciate the fact that my communication in the memo that “...This morning, Mr. Mends came to see me and delivered the attached letter. He mentioned to me that the $5million offer I made was not acceptable to his principals in France. In our subsequent discussions, I got the clear impression that he would accept a negotiated settlement of $10 million...” cannot result in a conclusion by Mr. Dogbe and The Herald that Societé Generale accepted settlement of $10 million. This attempt to use my observations of a person I met to post a definite conclusion that US$10 million was paid in settlement of the debt GNPC owed is so poor and weak that Mr. Dogbe ought to have done a better job even if his intention was to clearly libel me with malice aforethought. A simple telephone call to me to verify whether in line with my observation of Mr. Mends’ countenance during our meeting; Societe Generale later accepted US$ 10 million in settlement; thereby making my observation correct would have earned Mr. Dogbe applause from first year journalism students.
The mischief and malice that has actuated Mr. Dogbe and The Herald’s publication under reference are surprising but do not worry me. From 2001 when I assumed office as Energy Minister and at all material times I always acted reasonably and in the interest of good sense and the interest of Ghana.
My record and contributions as well as those of the Kufuor administration to the fortunes of GNPC speak resoundingly and are clear for all to see.
I have, as a responsible citizen and a patriot, forwarded a memo in respect of the true facts surrounding the sale of the Discoverer D511 drill ship to the Commissioner of the Judgment Debt Commission and still stand by that communication.
I wish to remind Mr. Dogbe and The Herald of my constitutional right to a full publication of this rejoinder pursuant to Article 162(6) of the 1992 Constitution.
ALBERT KAN-DAPAAH (FORMER MINISTER OF ENERGY)
cc: The National Media Commission Accra