You are here: HomeNews2013 06 22Article 277611

General News of Saturday, 22 June 2013

Source: XYZ

Prosecute Betty Mould et. al over Isofoton “fraud” – Prof. Ocquaye

Former Energy Minister, Prof. Mike Ocquaye, says “everybody who was involved” in the payment of over US$325,000 to Spanish energy company Isofoton S.A “must be seriously punished”.

The Spanish company was paid the money as part payment of a US$1.3m judgment debt award in connection with the alleged breach of a purported contract it had with Ghana.

However, Prof. Mike Ocquaye, who was energy Minister in 2005 when the bidding process was opened, told XYZ News that the company had “no contract with the State,” nor did it render any services to the country to warrant the demand of such a payment.

“…The fact is that they never reached the stage of having a contract…they never won a contract; they never had a contract,” Prof. Ocquaye insisted.

He averred that Parliament would have had to endorse a contract of such international nature had the contract really been awarded to Isofoton or any of the other competitive bidders.

The former presidential aspirant claimed Isofoton deliberately and craftily maneuvered its way into getting the government of the late President Mills to pay the judgment debt award despite knowing very well that it neither had a contract with the Government of Ghana nor rendered any services to the country.

Betty Mould-Iddrisu was Attorney General at the time of the payment of the judgment debt.

She was deputised by Ebo Barton-Oduro at the time.

Prof. Mike Ocquaye says all those former government officials must be prosecuted for fraud.

He stressed that: “…The only thing that should happen is that, people who treat Ghana like this must be seriously punished and nobody should ever do that again,” adding that: “Everybody involved in this fraud must be punished”.

Ghana’s Supreme Court ruled on Friday June 21, 2013 that Isofoton pays back to the Ghana the cedi equivalent of almost US$325,472, which it received as judgment debt.

The nine-member panel ruled unanimously that the money paid to the energy company was illegal.

The company, along with other international companies from Spain, was part of a competitive bidding process for a contract to supply Ghana with solar power services.

According to Prof Mike Ocquaye, the contract was never awarded to any of the companies due to a change in Government in Spain.

He, therefore, expressed bewilderment about Isofoton’s claim that it won the contract.