Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata, one of the Counsels who represented the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2012 election petition at the Supreme Court has plunged the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) into serious chaos as he allegedly ?sold off? the state institution at the blind side of other officials, when he was the Chief Executive Officer.
The then GNPC Chief Executive, Tsatsu Tsikata, had signed some agreement between GNPC and Societe Generale in the early 1990s which the it failed to honour and therefore became a failure.
This however led to the payment of some judgement debts to Societe Generale by GNPC and the sale of GNPC?s drill ship, Discoverer 511. However documents covering these transactions could not be traced by current management of the Corporation.
This deal came to light when the Chief Executive of the GNPC, Nana Boakye Asafo-Adjei and the Chief Manager from the Bank of Ghana, Paul Mensah-Ashun were subpoenaed by the Sole Commissioner.
Interestingly, they could not produce the documents needed by the commission to conduct investigations into the matter.
Officials of the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) have both failed to present the needed documents for the sale of GNPC?s drill ship, Discoverer 511 and the payment of $19.5 million dollars to Societe Generale.
It emerged that the judgment debt was as a result of a failed agreement which the Tsatsu Tsikata signed in his capacity as the CEO between GNPC and Societe Generale in the early 1990s.
By that agreement, GNPC, on the advice of the Societe Generale, entered into some derivative transactions at the time but in 1999 the Societe General sued GNPC in a London Court to recover debt owed it by the state-owned oil company resulting from the said transaction.
Meeting the Commission, the Chief Manager with the Banking Department of the Bank of Ghana, Paul Mensah?Ashun explained that the Bank of Ghana has no documents whatsoever backing the payment.
According to him BoG had made thorough checks from their Data base but found nothing concerning payments made as regards the sale of GNPC?s drill ship. ?My Lord we have queried our data base extensively and there is nothing that shows that some payments were made to Societe General in respect of the sale of the GNPC ship. So for this particular case that we are talking about, there is nothing that we can trace about that transaction? he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GNPC, Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjeye explained however that, his outfit was not involved in the sale of the said ship, but they were only informed through a letter issued by the Energy Ministry that the ship had been sold.
?I am not sure who sold the drill ship actually, it was not sold by GNPC but we received that letter that we submitted from the Ministry of Energy that it had been sold,? he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Asafu-Adjeye explained why as management of GNPC, they are not privy to the said transaction between it and Societe Generale. According to him, ??to be frank it will be difficult for me to comment on that because at that time I was not the CEO.?
Information however that is the whole transaction could not be traced in GNPC archives as documents relating to that are missing.