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General News of Friday, 16 May 2008

Source: GNA

Aggrey: Rawlings and Wilmot clashed on Areeba

Accra, May 16, GNA - Mr Richmond Nana Aggrey, former Vice Chairman of Areeba, on Friday told an Accra Commercial Court that former President Jerry John Rawlings confronted Mr Chris Wilmot, owner of Grandview Limited, in September 1999 at the Castle to disclose to him the person who actually owned

a specific 20 per cent shares in Scancom Limited, which became Areeba. Mr Aggrey said the Former President accused Mr Wilmot of fronting for him (Aggrey) whom he described as a crook, who had fleeced the people of Ghana of millions of cedis.

Mr Aggrey said even though Mr Wilmot was angry about the Former President's comments, he excused him because he was ignorant about the issues and asked him to check his facts. This was because Mr Aggrey had been forced to resign from the company and his 20 per cent shares transferred to Grandview Limited.

Mr Aggrey, who has sued Areeba, now MTN, for 20 per cent shares of the company, in his evidence-in-chief, told the Commercial Court that it was his cousin Mr Wilmot who narrated what took place at the Castle that day to him.

He said a delegation of businessmen from Huston, Texas, who had come to build a power plant in the country, was surprised when it heard about the incident between Mr Wilmot and the Former President. He said the delegation was also surprised that he (Aggrey) would not be allowed to invest in his own country.

Mr Aggrey said he later had a call from some shareholders who said Mr Wilmot had been arrested because of his encounter with the former President.

However, his own checks discovered that Mr Wilmot had not been arrested but that he missed his flight to South Africa that evening. He said because of what was going on it became apparent that the only way to conceal his shares to prevent the former President from interfering in the company was to transfer his shares in Grandview Limited to Investcom.

Mr Aggrey also tendered to the court a copy of the transfer deed from Grandview to Investcom.

He said because of the trust and relationship between him and the other shareholders he was hopeful that his shares could be transferred to Investcom for safe-keeping until the Former President left office and then they would be transferred back to him.

He said after withdrawing his earlier law suit against the company the board decided to restore his 20 per cent stake in the company but it never happened.

He said Investcom later suggested to him (Aggrey) that since the company had an outstanding loan they should use that money for the capital call and as such raise the assets of the company from five million dollars to eight million dollars.

Mr. Aggrey, a businessman, has sued Scancom Limited, operators of Areeba Mobile phone service, now MTN, and Investcom Consortium Holdings S.A. of Beirut, Lebanon, majority shareholders in Areeba, as well as Grandview Management of Texas, United States, to claim 20 per cent share of the company

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