Judgment debt commission did voodoo Mathematics – Kweku Baako

Findings of the Judgment Debt Commission which sought to blame a judgment debt award against Ghana in a London court on Nana Akufo-Addo were based on voodoo mathematics.

Journalist Abdul Malik Kweku Baako says the figures relied on to suggest that Ghana paid larger amount than it would have were not calculated based on any concrete evidence or even sound judgment.

He was speaking on Joy FM and MultiTV’s news analysis programme, Newsfile in response to contents of the report of the Judgment Debt Commission.

The report, which originally leaked to the media, in some parts accused New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo of failing to defend the state as Attorney-General under the John Kufuor government.

French bank, Societe Generale, brought a case against Ghana in a London court in 1999 seeking to enforce the payment of 40 million dollar debt owed by the GNPC. The Corporation disputed the claim and the figure.

Whilst the case was pending there were settlement negotiations going on in Ghana with the GNPC offering to pay $14 million but no agreement was reached.

In the mean time, the bank obtained a judgment from the London Court asking the GNPC to pay more than $40 million to SG. The Kufuor government which inherited the dispute, sold a GNPC drillship, renegotiated the debt, and paid $19.5 million to the bank.

The Judgment Debt Commission chaired by Justice Yaw Apau, made a finding that Nana Akufo-Addo’s failure to appear in court to defend the GNPC led to the state paying a higher amount.

It said in part, “ this Commission holds the view that the payment of US$19.5 million instead of the US$14 million earlier on agreed, constituted financial loss to the Corporation and Ghana”.

The calculation that formed the basis for the Commission’s conclusion in the previous paragraph, Kweku Baako contended, was not only faulty but also curious.

He insisted that there was no evidence anywhere to back the claim that the $14million was settled on to warrant a conclusion by the Commission that the $19.5 million that was paid SG was $5.5 million more than ought to have been paid.

“This is voodoo mathematics,” he declared grimly.

He read a memo authored by a former Chief Executive of the GNPC, Tsatsu Tsikata, addressed to Board of Directors of the Corporation in 1998 admitting that GNPC owed SG $40 million. The decision of the London High court was not without basis and the burden could not have been placed on the A-G at the time, Nana Akufo-Addo.

“Let Justice Apau and his Commission produce evidence to the effect of this $14 million settlement agreement,” he dared.

Kweku Baako said even though he endorsed the work of the Justice Apau Commission, the poverty of some of the conclusions in the final report must be rejected.

He maintained that the aspects of the report touching on the NPP’s presidential candidate for the 2016 election were nothing more than recycled propaganda by operatives of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The editor-in Chief questioned why the Commission did not deem it necessary to invite Nana Akufo-Addo even after the man had indicated his willingness to appear before it and testify.

He said he was ready to challenge the Commission’s findings on the issue.

Lawyer Nana Asante Bediatuo commenting on the matter said, “If indeed this report about Akufo-Addo is to attack his incorruptibility, I think it is futile, and I think people should stop trying to do that. There is nothing in Akufo-Addo’s background, his profession to suggest corruption. They should just give up.”

He stressed, “The denial of the right to be heard makes some bit of nonsense of the report.”

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