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A member of the NDC legal team, Abraham Amaliba is asking former President John Kufuor to urgently clear the air on a questionable US$2.64 million payment he authorised in his last day in office.

A leaked Judgement Debt (JD) Commission report said the former president on the eve of leaving office caused the amount to be paid as land compensation payment to a British Family.

In the view of the Commission the payment was insensitive, unconscionable and unfair to the local people and their children yet unborn.

“When the land was acquired in 1976, the assessed value of compensation for the portion owed by BAIL measuring about 1, 800 acres which the Company accepted was c200, 040.00 (now GHc20.00). This amount was, however, not paid. About thirty years down the line, the State was made to cough out US$2, 640,000 for the same piece of land, when nothing had been paid to the indigenous land owners who owned the remaining 23,000 acres.”

Weighing further into the issue on Joy FM’s current affairs programme, Newsfile Saturday Mr. Amaliba said the rapidity in which the order was given and the time the money was paid “smacks of some fishy deals”.

It takes months to trace documents in one agency, he therefore appeared surprised that this transaction was done within a day.

“The instruction by the President to the Attorney-General to pay the US$2, 640,000, the directive by the Attorney-General to the Minister of Finance following the instruction from the President and the request by the Minister of Finance to the Controller and Accountant General to release the money all happened on the same day, i.e. 6th January 2009; the eve of the President’s exit from office,” the Commission said in its report.

Amaliba chipped in: “One would have expected the Lands Commission to be part of these processes because the Land Commission that would do the evaluation and determined the amount of money to be paid. It appears to me, reading from the report, that this money was an amount that was figured out by President Kufuor to hand over to the family.”

He said the non-involvement of the Lands Commission is a “minus… and wrong”

“I think we need to get a response from him on this matter, it is so damning that it cannot be let to go as a former president with that stature; he has international clout. He is not a former president that is sitting at home.

“We need to have an official response from him; he needs to come out to at least deal with some of the issues,” he implored.

However, a member of the NPP and investment consultant, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko chose to pooh-pooh on the reports which question appropriateness of former President Kufuor's action.

He suspects the Commission was set up by the current administration “to do some level of equalization”, claiming for instance that a third of the Commission's work was spend on the drill ship scandal which did not favour the former government.

Source: myjoyonline

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