September 20, 2013

A beleaguered Kobina Tahir Hammond is warning a deputy minister of Information and Media Relations to get his facts right in the controversial sale of a $24m oil drilling ship to pay off a debt that has become the focus of a judgement debt commission.

Speaking to Joy News, K.T Hammond, a former Deputy Minister of Energy, says he finds it “so incredible and atrocious” for Murtala Mohammed to comment on the controversy without getting “his facts right”.

All the institutions concerned: the Ghana National Petroluem Corporation, Energy and Finance Ministries and the bank, Societe Generale have failed to provide the required details to unravel the mystery. Societe Generale says it has no record of receiving the purported $19.5m after the sale of the ship, and what happened to the balance of 3.5 million dollars is yet to be known.

The deputy Information Minister at the daily press meeting Wednesday said the Mahama administration is ready to offer legal assistance to the commission to assist in unraveling the mystery surrounding the sale of the ship.

The conduct of the two former principal state officials, Energy Minister Kan-Dapaah and his Deputy K.T Hammond who supervised the sale of the ship under the Kufuor administration, raises suspicion because of their contradictory statements, he underscored.

He said “I listened to an interview he [K.T Hammond] had….in one breath stated the money was given to President Kufuor and his boss [Albert Kan-Dapaah] came out to say the money was not given to the former president.”

This view has incurred the displeasure of K.T Hammond who believes the deputy minister’s utterances showed he did not “bother to listen to the tape”, New Patriotic Party MP for Adansi Asokwa said.

“Sad” and “getting a bit sick”, Mr Hammond refuted Murtala Mohammed’s claim that he gave the money to President John Agyekum Kufuor. Rather, it was a cheque which he said he gave to the Ministry of Finance and not money to the former President.

“He must be careful about comments that he is making when he hasn’t checked his facts”, K.T Hammond fumed.

“Where did I go on record that I gave the money to President Kufuor?” he asked.

The NPP MP who has been on several radio stations to explain the matter, revealed he was tired of over-flogging an issue and that it is expected for the Minister to play politics with the controversy.

The Deputy Minister of Information however insists that the tape which was played on Accra-based Asempa FM contains the contradictions of the former Energy Minister and his Deputy. He said the larger issues remain which company received the $19.5m claimed to have been paid by the NPP MP.