General News of Thursday, 10 December 2015
MP for Adansi Asokwa, KT Hammond is brimming with rage over claims by Tsatsu Tsikata that he conducted the sale of a drillship of the GNPC without documentation.
Sounding livid, Mr. Hammond described the claim as, “absolute nonsense”.
Mr. Tsikata had told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Tuesday that such an important “asset” of the corporation was sold under such circumstances that nobody has seen any documents covering the sale.
Then a Deputy Minister of Energy, KT Hammond was authorized to sell the drillship, Discoverer 511 to defray a $19.5 million debt. The drillship was sold in 2001 for 24 million dollars.
Mr. Tsikata said, “Hon. KT Hammond is being asked to explain some very simple things; he says that he conducted a sale of a drillship. Now a drill ship when you conduct the sale of it, there is documentation, there is a sale and purchase agreement. All these years no sale and purchase agreement has seen by anybody; he says that he appointed a law firm, a firm of solicitors in London, a firm of solicitors in London will not conduct a sale of a drillship by words, they would have documentation on that. Why aren’t we willing to address those central matters as well”?.
But Mr. Hammond would have none of that. He told Kojo Yankson on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday that the allegation is an attack on his integrity.
He noted that when he appeared before the Commission of Inquiry into Payments from Public Funds Arising from Judgment Debt and Other Related Matters, he made available to the Commission documents containing the contractual agreement covering the transaction.
He was surprised the Commission’s report made it look as if the deal was shrouded in secrecy. Tsatsu might have taken advantage of the lapses in the Commission’s wording to make those allegations, he stated.
“How preposterous it is for Tsatsu Tsikata to suggest that a whole drill ship was sold by word of mouth. How could he? That is an insult to my integrity,” he stressed.
KT Hammond maintained, “Every child knows that even pepper and yam and those things aren’t sold by word of mouth…this is not right and I take serious exception to that.”
He is also surprised that the government’s white paper on the Commission’s report recommended the Economic and Organised Crimes Office investigates his role in the sale of the drill ship. He is however convinced EOCO would not invite him because “the report did not make any adverse findings about KT Hammond”.
He is even shocked that the Commission and the public are not interested in an “unlawful withdrawal” totaling 300,000 dollars from an account into which the remainder of the proceeds from the sale was lodged.