Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday September 19, 2018
A former Managing Director of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) Limited under the previous Mahama administration, Kingsley Kwame Awuah-Darko, has refuted claims that he is being ‘pursued’ by the Economic and Organised Crime Organization (EOCO).
He denied reports that a warrant had been issued for his arrest.
“EOCO is not and cannot be chasing me since they know of my whereabouts,” he said, in a statement yesterday, insisting “so the story that EOCO is chasing me is palpably false…”
He also debunked claims that he supervised the illegal transfer of huge sums into an account held by the Chief of Staff (CoS) under the Mahama presidency.
Last week, a pressure group, Centre for National Affairs (CNA), petitioned the Office of the Special Prosecutor to initiate criminal investigations into what it claimed to be suspected illegal payments from BOST to the previous Mahama administration.
They claimed the recipient’s account was Chief of Staff’s Sundries Account No. 1, with account number 1018631473188 at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), and the alleged illegal transfers were done from August 2015 until early January 2017 when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) handed over to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) after the December 7, 2016, general elections.
In the statement, Mr Awuah-Darko said “the issue of transfers to the CoS is not illegal as is being suggested…In fact if one wants to steal money, why would one transfer the money to a statutory account held by the Chief of Staff, which can be audited at any point in time?”
Narrating how EOCO got in touch with him, Mr. Awuah-Darko said “on receipt of their letter, I called the office and spoke to the DG’s assistant. I followed our conversation up with a letter which I copied my lawyers on. In my response to EOCO, I gave them my telephone number and my email on which I could be reached. EOCO has not responded to my letter either by email or by phone to date.”
He said “they dropped off a letter in my house somewhere towards the end of March and early May, which was sent to me by my office in Accra. This account is not a fake account, neither is the Chief of Staff of the President of the Republic of Ghana a fake position.”
He said, “BOST, as you are aware, is in charge of fuel security in the country. BOST, by virtue of this mandate, took up the task of supplying fuel to Armed Forces and the Presidency at the request of the CDS (Admiral Quarshie) and the CoS because the Goods & Services Budget allocated to them by MoFEP was inadequate to keep them operational.”
Smooth Sailing Situation
Mr. Awuah-Darko explained ‘needless to say our hitherto smooth sailing situation with GOIL ran into serious reconciliation issues as a result of the confusion around which fuel we supplied went to the security services and which went to GOIL.”
“After BOST made a number of regular monthly supplies, probably in the region of 6 or 7 months, our attention was drawn to the fact that we were not an OMC and as such we could not supply the military directly and so we commenced the supply via Go Energy and GOIL whom we were also supplying through the Strategic Reserve Petroleum Programme I had instituted at BOST,” he said.
He said “it was at this point that a decision was made that in order to avoid the reconciliation issues and not put the entire fuel security programme at risk we come up with a solution that keeps the Military and the Presidency’s fuel operations running.”
Mr. Awuah-Darko said “in this respect, I went to my Board and got approval that internally BOST funds this by putting 5 pesewas on top of all our sales out of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Programme to fund fueling the Presidency and selected security services.”
“Presidential request and approval via the Chief of Staff’s Office, Ministerial approval via the Ministry of Petroleum were captured in a memo and sent to the BOST Board, which also duly approved the transaction,” adding “please note that approvals were granted at all levels to protect the legitimacy of the transaction.”
He said “EOCO knows this because they have investigated the matter…In actual fact about three weeks ago my Board Chairman Kakra Essamuah was invited by EOCO on this same issue, he provided the C’ssion with all the relevant information in addition to confirming verbally to them all the above.”
No Security Fees
However, Bulk Oil Distributors have denied claims that it paid GH¢40.5m in ‘security fees’ after revelations that they ended up ‘illegally’ in the Office of the Chief of Staff’s account.
Senyo Hosi, who is Chief Executive of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, said on Joy FM that ‘there is nothing like security fees in their invoices.”