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General News of Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Source: The Informer

Businessman with links to gov’t fingered in ADB ‘wahala’

Whiles workers of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) may have some genuine grounds for their apprehension - culminating in the decision to go public over current happenings in that bank, a top businessman, with strong links with the NDC-Government, according to intelligence picked up, is the one fuelling the agitation of union workers of the bank.

This self-acclaimed business mogul (name withheld for now), has a huge liability portfolio with the ADB and, has defaulted in payment; our checks have revealed.

This same person - who thinks the world must stop for him, is said to have turned himself into an octopus, dabbling in everything in the name of money, because, he has links with the NDC-Government; even though he cannot put together a simple business proposal.

An impeccable source close to the workers union told The Informer; “he (top businessman) has given us money to continue with the agitation until our MD is sacked and the bank board dissolved.

He has told us that if we do not continue the agitation to the end, we would be sacked; and that the protest should be an “all die be die”.

According to him, he has some personal scores to settle. But with whom, he did not mention, promising to buy us vehicles of our choice if we succeed in our agitation to have the bank’s board in particular dissolved.

“In fact, he boasted of how he has some senior journalists in his pocket, and that, he will get them to back our claims if we continue with the agitation anytime they are reached for comment,” the source added.

“This guy is really treacherous in the plans he has set in motion to get the board and some top management staff of our bank out,” this union member revealed; adding that a fake audio tape recording will soon be in circulation, propagating how some board members and management staff were cutting deals with regards to the sale of their former headquarters.

Information reaching this paper suggest that the reaction by Mr. John Esiape and his Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers (UNICOF) is not ordinary.

Allegations are that, UNICOF’s hurriedly organized press briefing on Monday to throw its weight behind the bank’s workers, was masterminded by detractors of Mr. Stephen Kpordzi, the Managing Director of ADB. They are hell-bent, to get him (Kpordzi) out, and also ensure that the board is dissolved.

To satisfy the whims and caprices of these cynics, UNICOF, directed its members to hoist red flags in protest against what he claimed goings-on at ADB.

Though UNICOF had accused the MD of some corrupt practices, it failed to pinpoint a single dishonest practice that the MD has engaged in.

The pro-NPP Policy Think-Tank, IMANI Ghana, through its President, Franklin Cudjoe, has hit back at UNICOF, describing its claim of having been compromised by ADB, hence supporting the financial institution to go ahead with its intended decision to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), as feeble.

According to Franklin Cudjoe, the Ghc20,000 his outfit got from ADB in November last year for its 10th anniversary might be one of the reasons why UNICOF is alleging they have been weakened.

“Would you suggest, therefore, that the same bank that would have given Lordina Mahama Foundation money and then the President subsequently approving a cabinet decision to offload the bank’s shares to make it go public; therefore, that the president would have been compromised"? the IMANI boss is quoted to have questioned.

He made it clear that, “change is a very difficult subject for everybody and, especially, if you have a cash cow like a state entity which is supposed to be going public for very good reasons, you will definitely find people going into all the dirty rules in the book to make it look as if this is not the point,” adding that the argument put forward by UNICOF is very weak and lacks merit