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Business News of Saturday, 6 August 2011

Source: myjoyonline

ISODEC questions gov't over EO-Tullow deal

Questions are being raised about government’s handling of the transaction between the EO Energy Group and the international oil firm, Tullow.

The Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) says the Mills administration has compromised itself in its handling of the deal.

This follows government’s decision to allow Tullow Oil to take over EO shares in the Jubilee oilfields even though government is contesting the EO Group’s shares in the oilfield.

Addressing a news conference in Accra on Friday, the Media Co-ordinator of ISODEC, Dr. Steve Manteaw said government had backed down from its earlier position because some officials might have been paid off.

According to Dr. Manteaw, “it is becoming clear that government’s sudden change of mind on the prosecution of EO Group has everything to do with political shielding which runs contrary to the spirit of transparency and angelic honesty which have become the mantra of the Mills government.”

He was at a loss as to why government will want to discontinue its legal action against the Jubilee partner when the accusations against the company involves a potential loss of billions of dollars to the state, asking “what reasons influenced the government to resort to the alleged reparation rather than pursuing justice?”

Speaking to Joy News’ Sammy Darko after the press conference, Dr. Manteaw insisted that “we are suspecting that there is an elite consensus to shortchange Ghanaians in the sense that the government has gotten into a kind of a deal with EO Group for EO Group to pay reparations in exchange for the government dropping all charges against them.”

He said if government claims that the shares of EO Group were fraudulently acquired and yet the company is granted the right to sell them, it means government has recognized their right of ownership; a decision which renders any legal action baseless.

Dr. Manteaw said there is no reason why government should drop the charges and that “we’ve sighted some documents which say that in exchange for the payment of reparations, the EO Group will be indemnified,” stressing that they stand by the allegations.