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Opinions of Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Columnist: Quaah, Amos Ofori

Sale of GNPC D511, Letter to Mr Kweku Baako

Dear Mr Baako,
On Saturday, 26th October while travelling in the Central Region, I heard bits of your contributions to a radio discussion programme as I went through shops at Agona Swedru, looking for chilled bottled water to buy. I have never met you, but I know your voice very well and I was really impressed by your in-depth and impassionate analysis of issues and what seemed to me to be the great lengths you had gone, to understand the matter under discussion. I did not hear the beginning of the programme, and could therefore not tell who the other panellists were, as I could not put names to the voices, but I was dismayed by the fact that one of them continued to rudely interrupt every contribution you made.
Frankly, I was extremely disappointed that the host of the programme, whose name I did not catch, allowed one of the panellists to make scandalous remarks about my person. I found his remarks about the granting of the power of attorney very offensive. In my neck of the woods, I have known television and radio stations that have been taken to the cleaners, because hosts of their programmes have allowed their panellists to vilify innocent citizens without just cause. The only reasons why I shall not sue the radio station and that panellist, whoever he is, are the fact that as his Lordship Mr Justice Apau remarked at the hearing, the institutions of state have not been allowed to work for a very long time and secondly, I always remember my grandfather’s admonition “never to argue with certain kinds of people because a bystander might not be able to tell the difference.”
I have since listened to the live recording of my answers at the Commission several times, and for the life of me, I still cannot imagine why anyone with average native Ghanaian wisdom cannot understand “We provided” or “...we prepared.” It may be a sign of the times but I am certain that when our son was in Class 6 at Christ the King School, he understood “we provided and we prepared”. I also heard various versions of the granting of the power of attorney for the sale of the D511. It must take a very special person with a very special level of intelligence to convince himself/herself that someone with a PhD in Seismology and more than twenty years of oil industry experience at the time, would walk into an office, pick up a legal document, sign it and simply walk out without ever reading through it!
It is even more astonishing to learn that an adult Ghanaian can allege that a lawyer that is qualified to practise law in Ghana and serve in the Attorney-General’s Department would allow even a complete illiterate to authorise a legal document without reading it to that person in a language he or she understands, beforehand.
That particular panellist intimated that “I cannot exonerate myself from the drillship selling saga.” I assume that by that he meant that he intends to bring a law suite against me for allowing myself to be blindfolded as I thumb printed the power of attorney. I pray and hope that when he is ready, he will institute his action in the British courts where this saga began in the first place!
Kind regards,
A Ofori Quaah (Dr.)