The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, and the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), are close to unraveling the persons behind the forgery of the signature of Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy and Petroleum, to acquire an oil block.
Prosper Agblor, Director–General in charge of the CID, confirmed to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday, that one Charles Andoh, a former employee of Miura Petroleum Limited (MPL), has admitted to the Police that he forged the signatures of both the Minister and the Managing Director of MPL.
Commissioner of Police (COP) Agblor said Andoh is on Police Enquiry Bail, but has not been reporting himself to the Police since he was granted bail on April 17.
As a result, Andoh’s sureties have been ordered to produce him on the date fixed for his appearance in court, that is, Wednesday, May 28, or face the consequences.
Narrating the circumstances leading to the forgery, the CID Boss said, in December last year, MPL, a company which is into oil exploration and development in the country, applied to the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum for exploration and development site, in respect of Offshore Cape Three Points Oil Block.
The company was denied, but was asked to re-apply for another block. While awaiting the re-application, there emerged online publications in Offshore Energy, Today, and Petroleum Africa Magazines, that the Ministry had exclusively united a Canadian Oil Company, Gondwana Oil Company, to take up the Offshore Cape Three Points Oil Block.
The CID Director–General said the publication was found to be false, and investigation revealed it was actuated by letters allegedly forged on the letter heads of both the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, and the MPL, and forwarded to Gondwana Oil Company.
The suspected forged letters had signature purported to be those of the Energy Minister and the MD of MPL and according to COP Agblor, both personalities have denied any knowledge of the letters.
In a prèss release dated April 10, the Ministry denied having invited MPL for any negotiation over any block in Ghana’s Sedimentary Basins.
The statement recounted that on December 23 last year, MPL submitted an application for an exploration and production license over the Offshore Cape Three Points South Block.
It said, unfortunately for MPL, at the time of submitting the application, evaluation of earlier applications for the block, had been completed, and a decision taken, and so MPL’s application was not processed for formal evaluation.
The statement said, the Ministry in a letter dated January 19 this year, informed MPL of the unavailability of its area of interest, and therefore requested the company to re-direct the application to any available open block for consideration.
With respect to Gondwana, the statement pointed out that the Ministry has never had any engagements with it, and therefore has no record of it.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of MPL has been arrested and granted bail by EOCO, after intensive interrogation, because EOCO believes that he has questions to answer.