|Member of Parliament for Asokwa, K.T. Hammond|
K.T. Hammond, under whose watch, as the Deputy Energy Minister the ship was sold, is expected to explain to EOCO, how he disbursed US$900,000 belonging to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
Government in its White Paper on the Judgment Debt report, directed “EOCO to investigate the mandate, authority and/or basis of Hon. K.T. Hammond’s disbursement of the US$900,000.00 to the Law Firm ‘Constant and Constant’ to cater for future debts of GNPC to other creditors.”
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Wednesday, K.T. Hammond said, “I will cooperate with EOCO in their investigations. It is no big deal,” he said.
He explained that the Kufuor government adopted the decision to sell the ship because the GNPC at the time was so indebted that the only way to save it was to sell the ship.
“We took over the drill ship six months into Kufuor’s administration. GNPC was bankrupt. GNPC owed every company.”
He said following the debt, the ship was arrested in the waters of Arman “on the orders of Sociéte Generale because Tsatsu Tsikata owed them. Tsatsu Tsikata had given them the ship literally. Tsatsu had mortgaged it to them, they had the papers they had the authority. He had collateralized the ship to his hedging activities.”
K.T. Hammond explained that the purchasers upon realizing that ship through GNPC owed a lot of people, insisted that an amount be set aside to defray the debts.
“…They realized that there was further debt on the ship…again the GNPC was indebted to the captain, workers, to many services on this earth. Every single company on this earth was owed by GNPC. So the agreement was that if such amount was not set aside to satisfy those creditors the ship will not be bought because they will not accept anything…the GNPC provided the names and information of those they owed and it came to $900,000. That was the money that was settled to the individuals. Before any single payment was made GNPC had to write to satisfy that yes, this person qualified or not.”
The legislator indicated that “the EOCO people would be happy to see some of the things that I wrote on some of the payment request.”