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I resigned following threat from Rawlings
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General News of Thursday, 15 May 2008

Source: GNA

I resigned following threat from Rawlings

Accra, May 15, GNA - The Commercial Court in Accra on Thursday played in full a tape recording of Former President Jerry John Rawlings accusing Mr Richmond Nana Aggrey, a businessman who has sued Scancom Limited, operators of Areeba Mobile Network, now MTN, for 20 per cent shares of the company of being a criminal who fleeced the country of millions of cedis.

In the recording Former Rawlings also accused Mr Aggrey of going round the world cheating people and had committed similar offences in Nigeria and was being sought by that country's authorities for his criminal activities.

The former President made those allegations during the formal opening of the 1999 Emancipation Day Celebrations at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) in the presence of local and foreign dignitaries including chiefs, queen mothers, diplomats, intelligentsia and Africans from the Diaspora.

The recording was replayed because during last court sitting, the tape developed a fault midway. The court asked the plaintiff to bring a new copy of the tape for it to be played to support their claims. Mr Aggrey who continued with his evidence in chief told the Court that he resigned from the company to avert threats from the former President.

He tendered in evidence a copy of his resignation letter, which read: "I am writing to inform you (Mr Taher Mikhathy, Chairman of Investcom Consortium Holding) that I have resigned as a director of Scancom with effect from December 23, 1997."

Mr Aggrey said the agreement was that the other shareholders of the company were going to show his resignation letter to the former President to indicate that he was no longer part of the company and that they were making effort to sell his shares.

He said even though he had been made to resign to divert attention, he continued to act as the Vice Chairman of the company, attend shareholders and board meetings and even travelled to London to attend shareholders meetings.

Mr Aggrey said even after his resignation his partners in Lebanon continued to worry about his association with the company because they said they had enough evidence that one day the company's masts would be toppled by the Former President.

He said they told him to recall what happened to a Ghanaian hotelier who had a problem with the former President and what happened to his hotel at the Airport.

Mr Aggrey said after the statement made by the former President at the Emancipation Day celebrations, it became clear to him that he was not safe in the country and had to leave for Nigeria.

He said later he had a call from Mr David Hesse, the company secretary, that they were going to have a meeting but he told them he would not be able to attend the meeting in Accra and that he was nervous.

Mr Aggrey said he told the other shareholders that instead of shelving his shares in Mobile Telecom, an offshore company in the Virgins Island, they should rather transfer the shares to Grandview Limited, a company in Cayman Islands which was owned by his Cousin Chris Wilmot.

He said later he received a share transfer agreement from Mr Hesse, which Mr Wilmot had already signed on behalf of Grandview, with a nominal value of shares at 2,000 GH cedis. He said he signed his part of the document and faxed it back to Mr Hesse in Accra.

Mr Aggrey said three days later another meeting was held in Accra but he could not attend. Mr Wilmot attended on behalf of Grandview and copies of the minutes of the meeting sent to him (Aggrey). He said at the meeting the other shareholders made a capital call which was intended to raise the asset base of the company from 800,000 dollars to five million dollars to enable them to expand their operations.

Mr Aggrey said subsequently at another meeting on September 7, 1998 Grandview requested that they should be given time to source funds. He said because they were having difficulties to convince the other shareholders to give them time, Grandview had no option than to seek legal advice.

Mr Aggrey 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 The Case was adjourned to May 16.

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