General News of Saturday, 8 July 2017
Legal practitioner Ace Ankomah is incensed by what appears to be the deliberate contamination of Ghana’s fuel by workers of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST).
He does not understand how the same workers involved in the contamination now turn around to buy the same product they contaminated.
“Instead of stopping the contamination it has become a business for employees,” he said with indignation.
Some 5 million litres of Ghana’s fuel was in January 18, 2017, contaminated by officers of the company who are supposed to store, protect the fuel in an unadulterated manner.
It is not the first time. The workers in a brazen support of the under-fire Managing Director, Alfred Obeng confessed BOST has been in the business of contaminating fuel from 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Over 20 million litres have been contaminated already, it has emerged. By contamination, the fuel, mostly petrol, is mixed with diesel which reduces the quality of the fuel and falls below the acceptable standards set by petroleum regulators-NPA.
The recent contamination has received widespread condemnation especially by the Minority, with the MD accused of fraud.
Even though he was not in office when the contamination occurred, the role he played in selling the contaminated fuel to unlicensed companies- Movenpiina and Zupp Oil- has been questioned.
While the Minority has called for his interdiction to allow for investigation, the Majority in Parliament has defended the MD.
In the midst of the politicking, a committee was set up by the Minister to investigate the circumstances under which the contamination occurred and how the fuel was disposed off.
Even before the committee will begin its investigations, the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has released its report on its own investigations it conducted on the matter.
The report cleared the MD Alfred Obeng of any wrongdoing. The findings have been rubbished by the Minority, many of whom have described it as a cover-up.
Contributing to the matter on Joy FM’s Newsfile programme, Saturday, a member of pressure group Occupy Ghana Ace Ankomah said the BNI’s report was an attempted “white-washing.”
He said instead of restricting itself to exonerating the MD, the investigation should be interested in finding out how the contamination occurred.
“We must look at the entire transaction. How much fuel was bought? Who was in charge of the fuel? The manager must explain why 5m litres was contaminated. How did the contamination occur? Was it negligence or criminal?” he asked.
In an earlier statement released, Occupy Ghana wants answers to a total of 19 questions, one of which is how much was lost to Ghana as a result of the oil contamination.
He did not understand why all these questions remain unanswered yet there is a report exonerating the BOST MD.
Ace Ankomah said the BNI findings and that of the NPA preliminary findings should be submitted to the ministerial committee which will then begin its own investigations without necessarily being guided by the findings in those two reports.