We ignored legal advice in payment of ex-gratia – GNPC



General News of Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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It has emerged that the Board of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation ignored a legal advice from their lawyers not to pay the controversial ex-gratia to four ex-employees of the Corporation.

Officials of the GNPC made the ‘confession’ when they appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy, Wednesday.

The Committee summoned the GNPC to appear before it following accusation by Adansi Asokwa MP KT Hammond that that the Corporation had “criminally” paid in excess of over five million cedis to four ex-employees of GNPC including former Chief Executive Officer Tsatsu Tsikata and his wife Esther Cobbah.

The Corporation confirmed making payments to the four, the other two being Asafo Adjei and Benjamin Dagadu but it defended the payment.

In a statement, the Corporation said the four had rendered invaluable services to the Corporation and it was a “valid obligation” to pay them their ex-gratia.

Two of the ex-employees, Mr Tsikata and his wife Cobbah have meanwhile denied receiving any money.

While mulling over the allegations of payment by KT Hammond, confirmation of payment by GNPC and denial of payment by two of the four ex-employees, another NPP MP Joe Osei Owusu claimed to have information that the legal team of GNPC had given a legal opinion against the payment of the ex-gratia.

He averred the Board flagrantly ignored the advice and made payments to the ex-employees.

Joe Osei Owusu accused the Board of causing financial loss to the state by making payments of such gargantuan proportion to four people and without basis.

When officials of the GNPC appeared before the Committee of Mines and Energy, they confessed there was the legal advice against the payment but the Board had reason to do the contrary.

Alhaji Sorogho told Joy News the GNPC officials have been directed to bring all documents relating to the payment of the ex-gratia as well as the legal opinion from the lawyers of the GNPC.

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