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General News of Friday, 26 April 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Conflict of interest claim: Fueltrade demands apology from IMANI

Fueltrade Ltd has refuted IMANI Africa’s claims it is owned by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) Dr. K.K. Sarpong.

IMANI had said that Dr. Sarpong had ties with Fueltrade, a partner agency of Aker Energy, claiming a conflict of interest against him.

This is against the backdrop of Aker Energy’s discovery of oil in commercial quantities at Cape Three Point after it took over from Hess Energy.

IMANI Africa has accused Aker Energy of trying to short-changing Ghana in its petroleum agreement with Ghana for oil production.

Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil indicated that his outfit had picked intelligence of a potential conflict of interest and was seeking further explanations.

But in a statement, Fueltrade Ltd noted that “its shareholders are Messrs Chris Chinebuah and Dzifa French Cudjoe, who have the full legal and beneficial interest in the company.”

“Fueltrade categorically states that it is not legally or beneficially owned by Dr. K. K. Sarpong and/or his family,” the statement added.

The company held that IMANI did not “undertake any verification because they set out to act and speak with malice and/or reckless disregard for the truth, in order to achieve a collateral purpose.”

In view of this, the company says it has instructed its lawyers “to make a demand for a retraction and apology from” from IMANI.

“If no such show of remorse materialises, we will take all steps to protect our business and hard-earned reputation,” the statement concluded.

K.K. Sarpong also released a statement of his own saying the allegations levelled against him were untrue.

He said the involvement of Fueltrade in the Aker agreement was sealed even before he was appointed.

“Fueltrade’s 2% stake in the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points Block was acquired in 2014 long before my appointment in 2017 as Chief Executive of GNPC.”

He also asked for an apology from IMANI over the claims.



Find below the full statement

STATEMENT BY FUELTRADE LTD IN RESPECT OF DEFAMATORY STATEMENTS MADE ABOUT IT BY IMANI AFRICA AND KOFI BENTIL

On 25 April 2019, Imani Africa organised a press conference in respect of developments around the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points Block (DWT/CTP).

Speaking through its Vice-President, Kofi Bentil, Imani Africa asserted that Dr. K. K. Sarpong and his family were the owners of Fueltrade Ltd.

Imani Africa and Kofi Bentil advanced this claim appears in support of wrongdoing they are alleging in respect of the DWT/CPT project. In particular, Imani and Kofi Bentil stated that it was ethically wrong for Fueltrade Ltd, a company allegedly owned by Dr. K. K. Sarpong and his family, to be a partner on the DWT/CTP project.

The clear but unfortunate intention of Imani Africa and Kofi Bentil was to drag Fueltrade Ltd into its accusations of involvement in unethical business practices.

Fueltrade Ltd wishes to state that its shareholders are Messrs Chris Chinebuah and Dzifa French Cudjoe, who have the full legal and beneficial interest in the company. Fueltrade categorically states that it is not legally or beneficially owned by Dr. K. K. Sarpong and/or his family.

Imani Africa and Kofi Bentil had ample opportunity, before the press conference, to verify the ownership of Fueltrade Ltd. They could have verified ownership by engaging directly with Fueltrade Ltd, or by conducting a search into the easily accessible records at the Registrar-General’s Department.

Fueltrade Ltd is convinced that Imani Africa and Kofi Bentil did not undertake any verification because they set out to act and speak with malice and/or reckless disregard for the truth, in order to achieve a collateral purpose.

In pronouncing our company as unethical and as being involved in the unethical business (based on untruths) and for ulterior motives, Imani Africa and Kofi Bentil have caused embarrassment and reputational damage to us. We have instructed our lawyers to make a demand for a retraction and apology from them. If no such show of remorse materialises, we will take all steps to protect our business and hard-earned reputation.

Signed by

Chris Chinebuah, CEO