General News of Saturday, 8 July 2017
The conduct of the Bureau of National Investigations regarding the probe into the contaminated fuel saga at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) necessitates its exclusion from the ministerial committee set up to look into the matter, Abdul-Malik Kweku Baako, the editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide, has said.
He said the BNI’s decision to publicly make known its own findings exonerating BOST MD Alfred Obeng in the matter involving the alleged sale of five million litres of contaminated fuel to Movenpiina and Zup Oil by the company, even before the committee set up by Energy Minister Boagye Agyarko – of which the BNI is part – sits, is “completely untidy”.
Mr Baako added that Mr Agyarko’s presser defending the actions of Mr Obeng was “premature” and cast some “integrity deficit” on the report.
Speaking on Newsfile on Saturday July 8, Mr Baako stated: “I am saying that the minister’s press conference was premature and perhaps needless. And then what makes it untidy is the fact that the BNI, which is a component of the ministerial committee, is the one whose report is being used by the minister at the press conference. I find that very uncomfortable, [I’m] very uncomfortable with that. And the BNI’s findings appear restrictive and limited. Whatever it is, [it] could have submitted its findings to the committee for the committee to work on it and come out with the conclusions subsequently. That makes it very tidy.”
The BNI’s action, Mr Baako said, makes its position on the committee untenable, for which a second look at the committee’s composition would be necessary, explaining: “The BNI ought not to be part of the ministerial committee. Indeed I am asking for a reconstitution of that committee by a process of elimination of some of the components and substituting them with new ones, perhaps an expanded or, if you like, even a wholly independent committee because of all the noise that has gone on.”
He said he was not in any way doubting the investigative body’s report or findings as the committee could “verify whether those findings are credible and have integrity”.
“But the way you handle the process is key for purposes of integrity and I think right now, at this stage, the process has suffered a certain integrity deficit. So we need to go back and restart,” he added.