General News of Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Source: The Herald

Nunoo-Mensah In Giselle Yazji Fiasco

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor may soon be hauled before the Bui Power Authority to account for his stewardship as the past Board Chairman of the authority.

But the threat to haul Mr. Kufuor before the Authority has been received with mixed feelings as similar threats in the past, from Nunoo-Mensah, the Security Advisor to President Mills to set up a commission of enquiry to probe the claims of Ms. Giselle Yazji that Mr. Kufuor illegally acquired lots of properties he could not have gotten, but for his position as the President of Ghana.

NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, who is a board member of the Bui Power Authority, threatened to sponsor the invitation if the NPP does not stop peddling what he says is falsehood about funding for the project, especially the construction of a modern resettlement called the Bui City, which will also have a university.

He made this known at a workshop attended by NDC Regional Youth Organizers at the Local Government Training Centre at Madina, Accra, last Friday

What is interesting is that there have been several of such threats against ex-President Kufuor by key personalities in the Mills administration which never saw the light of day.

Notable amongst them is that of the Security Advisor to President Mills, General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, that government was in the process of setting up a committee to probe allegations of one-time mistress of ex-President Kufuor, Ms Giselle Yazji, the lady at the centre of the Hotel Kufuor affair, who also claims to have a set of twins for the ex-president.

The last time The Herald made some enquiries at The Castle on the commission, the paper was told that although Ms Giselle Yazji, is bent on coming down to testify, “ President Mills, doesn’t want to go into history as the first sitting President who probed his predecessor.”

Another claim was that Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu, in her capacity as the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, was asked to draft a legal document setting up the commission of enquiry with Justice Yao Kpegah, a retired Supreme Court Judge as its chairman, but Mrs. Iddrisu was said to have retorted that the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) should be tasked to do the job, but in camera instead of a public enquiry commission.

It is not yet clear to The Herald whether these stances are holding back the commencement of the investigation. But the paper has learnt that Ms. Giselle Yazji has constantly been in touch with Gen. Nunoo-Mensah, telling him that he and his government are not serious. The last time, the two spoke was during the Christmas festivities.

The Security Advisor had made many trips abroad to meet Ms. Giselle Yazji on the probe, and been given wide media coverage in the newspapers and radio.

The workshop, at which Mr. Asiedu-Nketia issued the threat, was taking stock of the past year, and also aimed at enhancing the capacity of the youth leaders to map out strategies for the 2012 elections.

The workshop was also addressed by various NDC bigwigs.

Speaking on the 2011 Action year, Mr. Asiedu-Nketia touched on a number of issues, key among which was the need for Government to source extra funding to complete the Bui City Project.

Recently, the former Chief Executive of the Bui Hydro Energy Development Project and National Vice Chairman of the NPP, Mr. Fred Oware, rejected claims that about $118 million is needed to complete the Bui City Project.

This was after a Deputy Energy Minister, Inusah Fuseini, made the announcement in Parliament last Wednesday, February 9, saying that the Kufuor administration did not set aside funds for the project. But Mr. Oware explained that funds were to be sourced from the private sector.

These developments appear to have angered Mr. Asiedu Nketia who says that the NPP is not being truthful with Ghanaians on funding processes for the Bui Dam and Bui City projects.

Mr. Asiedu Nketia said if those “lies” being peddled by the NPP do not stop, he will sponsor the invitation of former President Kufuor to answer questions regarding funding for the project.

He said his invitation will be premised on the fact that Mr. Kufuor was the former Board Chairman of the Bui Hydro Energy Development Project. Mr. Nketia made a similar statement in August 2010, in an interview with Citi News.

Government signed the contract with the Chinese engineering and procurement organization, Sinohydro, in April 2007, to construct the dam that would add 400 megawatts of power to the national grid. The project commenced in April 2008.

The construction of the Dam is costing the government of Ghana $60million out of the total project cost of $622m, largely funded by the Chinese government.

It is expected to be completed and commissioned in December 2012.