Feature Article of Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Columnist: Lungu, Prof.

Ghana's K. T. "Hybrid" Hammond Knocks FOI Bill & $8 Billion Oil Money+

By: Prof Lungu


Before that full-throated apology, NPP's K. T. "Hybrid" Hammond jabbed that NDC's Dr. Kunbuor's statement was "...'...the most disgraceful statement that has ever been made by any member in (Parliament); it is insulting, it is foolish and should never be allowed...I ask for the statement to be withdrawn immediately…Mr. Speaker, I ask for the stupid and useless and foolish statement to be withdrawn immediately…it is palpable nonsense...'...But, as Ananse will print on its web, it was Mr. K. T. 'Hybrid' Hammond who in the end was schooled about etiquette, responsibility, and reflective declarations....And it got worse...That was all before we read the Justice Appau White Paper On Judgment Debts and loss to the State of $5.5 Million extra by 'Hybrid Hands' ...this week...", ( Re K. T. "Hybrid" Hammond, as shadowed by Prof Lungu).


We now know this: It is a fact that even our lawyer, our Adansi Asokwa NPP Member of Parliament, Mr. Kobina Tahir "Hybrid" Hammond, bright as he is, cannot show Ghanaians where in 1990-era P/NDC law a "Ghana Hybrid System" for collection of oil revenues owned to Ghana is codified as law.

Further, as we said in Part 1 of this series, it would not be a surprise to many Ghanaians and Ghana supporters that Mr. "Hybrid" Hammond's tolerance for corruption, and his intolerance of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, seem unsurpassed by his own words and marks.


LAWYER K. T. "HYBRID" HAMMOND'S TOLERANCE FOR CORRUPTION SEEMS UNSURPASSED BY HIS OWN RECORDS:

You see, when we Googled Mr. K. T. Hammond of Ghana, the first and most noticeable item we found was an apology by Mr. Hammond to members of Ghana's Parliament on 7th December, 2013.

As reported:

"...Mr Hammond went ballistic when he rained insults on Majority Leader Dr. Ben Kunbuor who addressed the issue of corruption among politicians in the country...as the disease of the political elite...saying it had been confirmed by the 'drill ship and Woyome placards' on the floor of Parliament... However, K.T. Hammond was offended by the comparison with Woyome, saying that there was no corruption in the drill ship case..."

Subsequently, Mr. Hammond, in the halls of the Ghana Parliament and on radio, used those "...platform(s) to express...unqualified apology to the good people of Ghana...showing remorse about his conduct...(to the extent)...his outburst was...not of the “best behaviour”.

Imagine, before that apology, Mr. Hammond jabbed that Dr. Kunbuor's statement was "... 'the most disgraceful statement that has ever been made by any member in (Parliament); it is insulting, it is foolish and should never be allowed...I ask for the statement to be withdrawn immediately…Mr. Speaker, I ask for the stupid and useless and foolish statement to be withdrawn immediately…it is palpable nonsense..”

But, it was Mr. K. T. "Hybrid" Hammond who in the end was schooled about etiquette, responsibility, reflective declarations.

And it is getting worse!

That was all before we read the Justice Appau White Paper On "Judgment Debts" last week.

We now know that Mr. K.T. Hybrid Hammond, during 2001-2006, while the NPP was in power and Nana Akufo Addo Danquah was the Attorney-General of Ghana, caused a loss of $5.5 million, being "...financial loss to the Corporation (GNPC) and Ghana...(being)....payment of US$19.5m instead of US$14 million..." as agreed earlier by Ghana (and the plaintiff).

To the point:

"... The Acting Managing Director of the GNPC, Dr. Ofori Quaah, was not given
room to operate and was coerced into signing a Power of Attorney prepared at the Attorney-General’s Office to empower Hon. K. T. Hammond to sell the GNPC’s marine asset, the Drillship, ‘Discoverer 511’... a going, profit-making concern...(and)...use the proceeds to pay off the debt owed by GNPC..."

We will remind readers that Mr. K. T. Hybrid Hammond has been in Ghana’s Parliament since 2001, just as the first oil production contracts were been written.

According to the Justice Appau White Paper, to date, $3.5 million of those funds have still not been properly accounted for by the "...Minister of Finance and officials of the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department...(and)...the Ghana High Commission in London at the time in question...between 2001 and 2006...".

Our Adansi Asokwa NPP Member of Parliament, Mr. Kobina Tahir "Hybrid" Hammond, has in effect been one of a "leader" in Parliament who has championed the so-called Hybrid System for Ghana's oil contracts that is directly resulting in severe loss of income to Ghana, owner of the Oil resources.


LAWYER K. T. "HYBRID" HAMMOND HAS NO LOVE FOR FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (FOI) BILL:

Further, there is the case just 2 days after the initial meeting with the Ghana Institute of Governance and Security (GIG) , on 9 July, 2015. As reported, members of Ghana's Parliament were discussing the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill (or, as they weakly call it, the Right to Information bill).

Apparently, if Mr. Hybrid Hammond, now with the NPP minority had had enough.

By his reckoning, the FOI bill will never see the light of day. According to the Record from Parliament, on that day in July, debate on the bill was not completed because among other reasons:

"...Member of parliament Kobina Tahir Hammond...called the bill a minefield, cautioned: 'We must be very, very conscious as a nation, extremely conscious. There can be proper governance without a certain amount of secrecy...You don’t open up the entire gamut of government to the prying eye of the entire public'..."

To that bewildering "secrecy and conscious as a nation" statement, MP and Minister for Science and Environment, Mr. Mahama Ayariga replied that "...it is the time to pass an RTI law....'I think this country has been cautious enough. It is rather time for us to courageously move forward when it comes to the passage of the Right to Information Bill..(because)...'good governance...underpins our constitution...”

To which Mr. Hybrid Hammond retorted:

“...it can never be that open and I am not talking about the communist or the socialist system. Even in democracies like America and the United Kingdom, they have space for certain documents to be kept away from the public...We must be very, very conscious as a nation, extremely conscious. There can be proper governance without a certain amount of secrecy...”

So our other questions for Mr. K. T. Hybrid Hammond, now revised, are these:
1. What is Mr. Hammond afraid of?

2. Why is it a bad thing when "the prying eye of the entire public" is focused on items the public buys and pays for. We are talking about government contracts, benefits, taxes, liabilities accrued, equipment purchased, etc., by Parliament and Mr. Hammond, on behalf of the People of Ghana. Papers like the ones he signed in London during 2002-2006 with respect to the Judgment Debt against Ghana and the agreement committing Ghana to page.

3. What types of documents does he want to keep from "the prying eye of the entire public", for how long?

4. What specific documents does he want to keep from "the prying eye of the entire public", for how long?


Imagine!

Every month our "high" public official, Mr. K. T. Hybrid Hammond receives more than GH¢12,000.00 , all tax-free. All that come with a catalog of free benefits (free housing, free staff, free transportation, per diem, etc), all tax-free as well. Mr. Hammond does not pay income tax on all his income and benefits.

But it is the Ghanaian worker who lives in Akatechi, Kofevi, Navrongo, Cape Coast, Ho, Berekum, Cabo Corso, Ogwa, Kumasi, Tamale, Tema, Bongo, Karachi, Paga, Kukurantumi, Zvalungu, and all places in-between earning a whole lot less money, it is they who actually pay taxes to support Mr. K. T. Hybrid Hammond, Mr. Dagadu, and a whole heap of them.

Yet, Mr. Hammond wants secrecy for oil contracts and Promissory Notes he signed on behalf of Ghana while he was junketing between Accra, London. and Paris. In short, our lawyer, our Adansi Asokwa NPP Member of Parliament, Mr. Kobina Tahir "Hybrid" Hammond, no love for the public's access to information held by government on behalf of the public.

To boot, Mr. K. R. "Hybrid" Hammond wants less money for Ghana, even though the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) contract will accrue more money for Ghana, in the medium- to long-term, and would have transformed our $8 billion loss into $8 billion in the public account.

We imagine with all of that going on around Mr. K. T. "Hybid" Hammond, causing financial loss of just $5.5 million must be chump change to our Hybrid-Man.


We ask again this simple question of Mr. Kobina T. "Hybrid" Hammond and the NDC Deputy Minister For Energy and Petroleum, Mr. Benjamin Dagadu:

QUESTION: If Texas/USA, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, etc., can have the "Gold-Standard" Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) that will over the medium- to long-term pay Ghana billions more in oil revenues, why can't Ghana?

Why resist the PSA mathematics and science?

We don' we top all that up with a strong FOI bill for all the People?


So it goes, Ghana!


SOURCES:
1. Ghanaweb. Feature Article, Petroleum bill a very bad deal for Ghana, 22 August 2015, Andy K / Solomon Kwawukume, Snr. Research Officer, GIGS.

2. Ghanaweb. I’m sorry – KT Hammond begs, 7 December, 2013, (www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/I-m-sorry-KT-Hammond-begs-294396).

3. CitiFMOnline. Don’t sack any Ghanaian technical staff, Petroleum Ministry warns Tullow, 18th March, 2015, (www.citifmonline.com/2015/03/18/dont-sack-any-ghanaian-technical-staff-petroleum-ministry-warns-tullow/#sthash.9ZM0JBg7.dpuf).

4. --------- Ghana not ready for RTI – KT Hammond, 3rd July, 2015. (www.CitiFMOhttp://citifmonline.com/2015/07/03/ghana-not-ready-for-rti-kt-hammond/).


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Ghana's K. T. "Hybrid" Hammond Knocks FOI Bill & $8 Billion Oil Money+
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