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Opinions of Monday, 18 January 2010

Columnist: Briston, Fred

Come Again “Dr” Kwesi Mensah Wilson

A lot has been said, written and read about the EO group and there are questions which need to be answered; there are certainly actions which need to be examined, so that the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth can be established. Nothing should be swept under the carpet at this point in time. I personally wish to urge the Ghana Government to be forthright with information they have to set minds at ease, since these issues are very important to the national political discourse and cannot be left in the hands of people like Nana Kofi Amankwaah and “Dr” Kwesi Mensah Wilson. I am not sure if this is not a PR scheme by the EO group.

What baffles me is the rush of NPPians to their defense. Is it because of admission of guilt? Or there is something they know is damning to their very survival. I see their efforts as the only way of drawing public sympathy for their actions. I don’t care who gets what in which transaction, but how. My concern is: did the EO group act in good faith? It is also incomprehensible how the whole issue is being politicized and tribalised, and in a sense trivialized.

OIL FIND

As Dr Mensah Wilson puts it and I quote: “WHAT BEATS MY UNDERSTANDING OF THIS DECLISH PERSECUTION IS THE LOPSIDED LOGIC ENGULFING THE WHOLE ……..” What kind of intellectual dishonesty is this? First we all agree that it’s not the Government that selected the particular spot for Kosmos. Also we know that the foreign Geologist selected the spot, but based on what information? First of all, the data that was used to select which block to apply for wasn’t provided by the so-called foreign geologist. This information could only be provided by the GNPC upon payment of a fee. We would like to know how much they paid for that information. This is the same way another NPP adherent is peddling geological data in Canada for $4m.

Secondly it is a known fact that the block EO/Kosmos selected is in the area the GNPC had identified as the most promising spot. Kosmos/EO obviously received this data free of charge. I it therefore any wonder they are now bragging of oil-find in a record time? This tells it all. Dr Wilson, let me tell you, you do not sound convincing at all. Your article smacks of a vain attempt to win public sympathy for EO group, when nobody has accused anybody of wrong doing. The good people of Ghana expect that such articles as yours will not deter the Mills administration from continuing with this legitimate investigation.

You also asserted: TWO PRIVATE CITIZENS SACRIFICED THEIR JOBS, TIME AND MONEY TO PROSPECT FOR OIL IN GHANA……….” Tell you what; Dr Edusei is not the common man that you want us to believe, for we know that he contributed regularly to Kuffour’s 2000 campaign. When ex-Prez Kuffuor needed a man he could trust, he fell on Dr. Edusei as a front man in various under-dealings in the oil business. We also know about Kuffuor’s oil deals in the Middle East that almost landed him in trouble.

DR KWAME BAFFOUR EDUSEI

A respected Medical Practitioner by all standards undoubtedly. Nobody is questioning Dr Edusei’s prominence, hard work and his general credentials in the medical field, but that doesn’t make him a saint and/or petrochemical expert overnight. Let’s face facts “monkeys play by sizes”. Ex-Prez Kuffuor would not do business with a “pee on” like me. I am also aware, that the investigations are not targeted at Dr Edusei as a person but to determine the role of the EO group, who is behind it and the whole concept that ensured that our most treasured assets are being auctioned on the basis of who get what in the Property Sharing Democracy of NPP. The accusation of conflict of interest against the learned medical practitioner is not based on his position as an ambassador before or after the deal was struck. His actions are being probed for what he did before, during and after his duty tour.

We are told in the African Post of how EO Group was started in 2001 and that Ghana was considered a grave yard etc. etc. etc. Incredible! Who are you kidding? The African Post further claims EO dealt with a different company in 2003 and that the company backed off because Ghana was too risky. You are right! We do know, based on the unreasonable demands of EO and Kuffuor’s men, ENNEX of Ireland left Ghana with sour taste in their mouth.

Now let me tell you about what I know about these two individuals. Dr Edusei the respected medical practitioner was tapped by Kuffour to front for him with the promise of an ambassadorial position. Pay cut? Yes, we all have at one point in time taken a pay cut, in expectation of what we hope to achieve in the future, either in terms of higher financial returns or enhancing our resumes.

It is also a fact that Ambassadors are not appointed overnight, and the decision to appoint Edusei as an Ambassador was taken well before the Kosmos deal was started, because it was part of the package. Let me explain myself. We understand Kosmos deal was signed in June 04. We also are aware that Dr Edusei’s appointment as an Ambassador was effective August 04. Within two month? So when was the offer made to Dr Edusei, when did the Council of State vet his credentials, when was his background checked at home, when was his credentials forwarded to the Swiss authorities, and when was his ‘Agreement’ received, confirmed and sworn-in as an Ambassador. All within two months? Ridiculous! Surely, the process as I know takes longer than two months.

The answers to these questions would allow us to determine how private Dr Edusei was, before the deal was signed and how he became an Ambassador. During his tenure of office as an Ambassador, did he resign his directorship of EO Group, and what was his relationship with Kosmos. It will be interesting to find out what roles he played in the EO/Kosmos operations since we have learnt that huge sums of money were paid to EO by Kosmos ostensibly as operational expenses. The truth about payments and other issues being investigated by the US authorities would definitely come out. What I don’t understand, is the effort to insulate Dr Edusei from the NPP. That is actually creating problems for him, because we all know that no African Government will appoint a non-career diplomat as an Ambassador unless you fall within these three categories:

a) One contributed in cash or in kind towards the party’s electioneering campaign

b) One is a functionary of the party and played a major role in the party’s success

c) One is a close pal of the president to whom he owes favor

Which of these categories does Dr Kwame Bawuah Edusei fall into? If Dr Edusei didn’t contribute cash or kind and did not play a major role in the party, then the last was most likely the case and could pass as Kuffuor’s front man for he (Kuffuor) doesn’t offer business for nothing.

As regards George Owusu, he is known as someone who cannot keep a job, and had been fired by Shell before EO Group concept. This is a known fact all over Houston.

FAIRS IN HOUSTON

We are told that EO Group organized fairs in Houston to promote Ghana’s oil business; what a shame! The Greater Houston Partnership organizes Fairs on regular basis to promote business every year. This year’s Fair for instance is scheduled for February 12, 2010. Why take credit for it when all they did was to set up a booth to attract prospective investors and invited GNPC officials to authenticate their connections with the government.

CAYMAN ISLAND

Finally, what prompted EO Group to move their location to Cayman Island just before the 2008 elections in the US and in Ghana? To tell the truth is optional, but the time will arrive when they come for you. We all know what Cayman Island means for corrupt business practices. Dear reader, there is information, that twenty-six (26) companies in the Cayman Island could be traced to NPP gurus.

In conclusion, let me try to place this development in its proper historical context. Corruption has been one of the major factors which have undermined political stability in Africa. It is a factor which contributed to bad governance in several African countries in the past and this has not stopped. Rather than condemning the laudable efforts of the Mills administration, all well meaning Ghanaians should support and encourage President Mills for his bold and honest leadership. Asomdweehene bravo!!

By: Fredy Briston