Mr Tsikata told Richard Sky on the ‘Point Blank’ segment of Citi FM’s Eyewitness News on Tuesday that his salary was not paid him while he was on his accumulated leave after the Kufuor administration took over in 2001.
“I was not paid. I was rather subjected to intense attack by officials of the government and the reasons were obvious…I don’t think we should pretend that these are not part of the issue,” he said.
The new government, he recalled, “started with direct attacks and allegations against me,” adding that even though he was transferred from the GNPC to serve as an adviser at the Energy Ministry, it was not prudent for him to have served within the hostile atmosphere.
“Here was I, in 2001, being chased even to church to be arrested…I was a subject of an intense period of being harassed in terms of my rights.”
Mr Tsikata recently sued MP for Adansi Asokwa, K.T. Hammond for defamation. The suit is in relation to the former deputy Energy Minister’s assertion that Mr Tsikata and three other former top-level management staff: Esther Cobbah (Mr Tsikata’s wife), Nana Asafu-Adjaye and Benjamin Dagadu, received hefty emoluments from GNPC despite leaving the state oil firm more than a decade ago. Mr Hammond said apart from Cobbah, who received about GHS600,000, the others received close to GHS1 million. Both Mr Tsikata and his wife have denied receiving any such money, even though the GNPC issued a statement confirming that it had made some payments to the four former staff.
Mr Tsikata said on Tuesday that he was unable to assert his rights to the emoluments after Mr John Kufuor and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) won the 2000 elections because the new government witch-hunted him.
According to him, it was imperative he fought for his freedom at the time. “…In the case of the entitlement it was such an obvious thing that they were not to be respected. There had been very high-level decisions that those rights should not be respected. The right to freedom was a right that had to be protected for me to be able to secure other rights in the environment of the time,” he added.
“My entitlements to the Provident Fund were never paid – not even my own contributions. No end of service benefits of any sort was ever paid. A letter I wrote to the Chairman of the board of directors at the time was not answered,” he noted.