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General News of Sunday, 21 October 2007

Source: Crusading Guide

NDC Guru Received £116,000 from Scancem

Crusading Guide -- Despite vehement denials by ex-President Rawlings and his wife Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, that they are innocent of the allegations made against them that they received bribe money in millions of dollars from former officials of the Norwegian cement giant, Scancem, some credible evidence has popped up to indicate that their party - the National Democratic Congress (NDC) – after all, benefited from the cement company to prosecute the 2000 elections.

This paper has laid hands on documents indicating that an ardent lady NDC supporter (name withheld now) led a Ghanaian official of Scancem to obtain £116,000.00 from the Norwegian company to assist the party during the 2000 elections.

The documents indicate that the money was routed through an account belonging to a company owned by a big man in the NDC party. This account is at the Tema branch of The Trust Bank.

The money was then transferred into the account of another big shot of the NDC. This big shot, readers can be assured, is no longer in active politics.

Finally, the money was handed over to another NDC guru, who though is still in politics at the moment, cannot be said to be an NDC ally.

This paper, for now, is withholding identity of all the characters not identified now. Readers will recall that when Scancem ANS took its former African representative, Tor Egil Kjelsaals to court for stealing their money, it turned out that the money was used to secure the monopoly that Scancem attained in the Ghanaian cement industry by the late 1990s.

Rawlings, Nana Konadu, P.V. Obeng – former Adviser to ex-President Rawlings - were mentioned as having been given over $4million. The NDC party and other businessmen were also said to have benefited from the bribery package.

This paper published proceedings of the Asker and Baerum District Court of Norway on the trial of Tor Kjelsaas for pocketing monies intended to bribe African politicians to secure Scancem’s monopoly in the cement industries in some African countries, of which Ghana was one.

The stories, which were first published by the Norwegian widely-circulating newspaper, Dagens Naeringsliv,(DN), quoted Tor Nygaard, the immediate past Managing Director(MD) of Ghana Cement Works Ltd. (GHACEM) - the Ghanaian subsidiary company of Scancem – as saying that they paid bribe monies to politicians, the party in Government and port authorities in order to facilitate efforts at gaining monopoly in the cement industry in Ghana.

Tor Nygaard said they developed special code forms in Ghana for those the monies were paid to.

According to him, payments for individuals were specified with dates and amounts in Ghanaian cedis and American dollars.

Mr. Gerhard Heiberg, another official of Scancem, was reported to have testified on behalf of Tor Kjelsaas who would not be present at the court.

He was reported to have said that “RAWLINGS AND HIS SPOUSE WERE AMONG THOSE WHO RECEIVED CONSIDERABLE PAYMENTS FROM SCANCEM”.

In the wake of the publications of the court proceedings in the Norwegian media and subsequently the Ghanaian media, Gerhard Heiberg granted a Ghanaian private radio station, “Radio Gold,” an interview, denying that the names of the Rawlingses were cited at the Asker Baerum Court.

However, when Kweku Baako Jnr., Editor-In-Chief of this paper, and Gabby Otchere Darko, Editor-In-Chief of “The Statesman”, caught up with Harald Vanvik and Geir Imset, authors of the story on the bribery scandal, in Norway, the two journalists expressed surprise at the turn of events.

According to them, their report on the issue was straight from the court; and before the publication, they had showed the story via email, and the attributions to Heiberg, of which he expressed his approval as being accurate.

“Before we printed the article we sent all the quotes that Heiberg had made during the court hearing to him several days before the article was printed. He (Heiberg) sent us an email confirming what he had said in court and declined to make any further comments on the quotes”, said Vanvik, one of the two Norwegian journalists, to Baako Jnr. and Darko.

This was carried by The Crusading GUIDE of 4th – 10th September, 2007 under the headline: “Fall-outs from The ‘Scancem Bribery Saga’ (After The Trip To Norway – Part One) J.J., WIFE & P.V. CITED IN COURT … Insist Two Norwegian Journalists As They Stand By Their April 21st Story While Exposing Ex-Scancem Top Shot For Lying On ‘Radio Gold’! This paper, however, continues with its investigations. Stay tuned

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