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General News of Monday, 4 June 2007

Source: Statesman

Affordable Housing Wahala: Company 'fights back'

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'Global interests is not a church' -Pastor
... No information from the government?

Steve Ams, the head of Global Interests, LLC, an American concern that plans to build 15,000 affordable houses in Ghana with the post-completion undertaking from Government of their sale to Ghanaian workers, has challenged a media report that the company was a sham and a church.

In interviews with The Statesman, Dr Ams said, "Global Interests, LLC, is not a Church; rather it is a Limited Liability Company."

Describing the story as shocking and ridiculous, he explained that "Global Interests, LLC is a for profit entity, while on the other hand Churches are normally 501(C)3 non-profit Corporations."

The Enquirer had published that the address used for Global Interests was in fact a church premises at Houston, Texas.

While admitting to being head of a church, also, the popular TV preacher Dr Ams, in a soft, educated Texan accent, said the impression should not be created that there is some natural conflict between running a church and undertaking business projects, especially a prudent one with a strong bias towards providing social infrastructure for a developing country.

He reiterated a fact supported by official records, "Global Interests, LLC offices are located at 1333 West Loop South, Houston, Texas, 77027. The 7414 Cook Road location has two buildings situated thereon, identified as buildings 'A' and 'B". Building ‘A' is a Sanctuary and Building ‘B" is a business office that handles some of our transactions."

Also, The Statesman spoke to the lawyer of Global Interests, who had two weeks ago drafted a rejoinder to an earlier Enquirer story, threatening to sue the paper. The rejoinder was circulated by Ato Martinson, local representative of Goshen International Construction, a subsidiary of Global Interests, LLC which is in charge of the self-financing housing project in Ghana.

Though it bore the name of Gordon Cooper, it was not signed. In an email to The Statesman Saturday, to which he attached a signed letter to this paper, Gordon R Cooper II, General Counsel for Global Interests, set out to explain that "With regard to the press release, I wish to acknowledge that I indeed prepared an email in response to some information made known to us by our local representative who is an officer with Goshen International Construction (Ghana) Limited. We authorised our Ghanaian representative to release the instrument to the press exercising his discretion and own sound judgment."

The letter from Mr Cooper read further, "I am pleased to inform you that Global Interests, LLC, is a diversified company which engages in business investments, financial and project development, implementation and management services on a world-wide basis."

Dr Ams is an American citizen of Nigerian descent, who, according to his associates is very proud of his Nigerian heritage and actually celebrate his African roots through humanitarian projects and the like in Africa.

The biggest project the firm is undertaking in Africa involves an airline business in Gambia. "Global Interests, LLC conducts business in several countries around the world as opportunities that meet our internal criteria become available," he said, adding, "By way of an example, Global Interests, LLC has a subsidiary that has been licensed to begin flight operations in Gambia. In that regard, we are in the process of acquiring six airplanes for our passenger and freight operations."

The Gambian operation, he said, is "in addition to our current gold concessions that we also have in other African countries."

"Global Interests," Dr Ams said, has "also previously co-sponsored humanitarian medical missions amounting to about $3 million to a sister West African Country" and is in the process of extending a similar facility to Ghana.

In spite of the negative publicity, Dr Ams said, "Global Interests, LLC, is 100% committed to the housing needs of Ghana and is in the process of concluding our funding."

The Enquirer wrote last week that "Global Interests LLC, Goshen Corporation, Steve Ams Ministries and Chapel of Praise, have one thing in common. They all claim to have one office address owned and controlled by a Nigerian Doctor cum Pastor and his wife on one side and their Nigerian cronies some of who are former Nigerian Presidential appointees in the office of a former Nigerian Vice President."

It continued, "Extensive investigations conducted by The Enquirer, have revealed that, Steve Ams, the man with whom the government has signed a ¢600 billion MOU and who they address as an American Investor with an American name and an American company called Global Interest LLC, is not an American as we are made to believe but a Nigerian Pastor who has dropped his Nigerian middle name and wishes to be known as Steve Ams."

The paper then went on to reproduce extensive details mainly available on the internet about Steve Onoja Ams and his wife, Joy Ams, "who started life with their Steve Ams Ministries in April 1992."

Steve and Joy Ams are ordained Ministers of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ called to the prophetic, evangelistic, teaching and worship Ministries. In September 2005, they launched a new Christian Television Programme called GOSPEL AMERICA, a Ministry of Messiah Communications Network, Inc.

Further investigations by The Enquirer, the report said, "have revealed that Goshen Corporation, also registered in the state of Texas and which is said to be connected to the Goshen International referred to in Hackman Owusu Agyepong[sic]’s MOU as a ‘local partner’ for the ¢600 billion is also owned by the same Steve Ams."

According to the local representative, Mr Martinson, Goshen or its bosses made no secret of the fact that it was a duly registered legitimate subsidiary of Global Interests, LLC. Goshen Corporation, according to the Enquirer is in ‘good standing’ in America as a firm.

Mr Cooper, lawyer for Global Interests LLC, said in the earlier rejoinder that "Dr Steve Ams represents the Corporation as its Registered Agent. This means that his name shows up on behalf of Directors and Board Members. There is no requirement to show more than one registrant per corporation in the USA."

According to the Enquirer findings, "Goshen Corporation which is said to be affiliated to Goshen International, as the local partners of Global Interests LLC in the ¢600 billion Government Affordable Housing Project not only shares the same address but also shares the same website with Global Interests. If one clicks on Goshen Website, the person is connected straightaway to the website of Global Interests LLC."

The company, the Enquirer reported, was registered on September 11th, 2002 and the only registered agent is Steve Ams, also of Cook Road, Houston Tx. 77072-2234.