It’s official! It’s factual! It’s undisputable! The French Bank, Societe Generale was indeed a receipient of the sum of US$ 19,500,000.00 in full and final settlement of GNPC’s indebtedness to the bank as a result of a hedging transaction the two entities( SG and GNPC) had entered into between October 1996 and July 1998.
The testimony of Mr. Gilbert Hie, Managing Director of Societe Generale(SG),Ghana Limited at the Judgment Debt Commission when he appeared before it on September 17, 2013, to the effect that Societe Generale had no records of the payment of $19.5 million to the French Bank as settlement of its dispute with the GNPC in 2001, raised a cloud of doubt over some assertions made by top officials of the Kufuor Administration, particularly Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah and Mr. K.T. Hammond, then Minister of Energy and Deputy Minister Of Energy respectively in connection with the settlement payment made to SG in 2001.
Mr. Hie explained that by French Law, documents were required to be kept for a maximum of 10 years, beyond it the law did not require them to continue keeping the documents/records, and was therefore not surprised that the documents/records could not be found.
Against the backdrop that Mr. Kan Dapaah had at a press conference held in Accra on August 8, 2001, told the media and the nation that “after almost six weeks of intensive negotiations Societe Generale agreed to accept $19.5 million in full and final settlement” of GNPC’s indedtedness to the bank(SG), coupled with his( Kan Dapaah’s) “open communication” to the Sole Commissioner, dated September 13,2013, to the effect that ” following extensive negotiations with SG, GoG managed to reach an agreement with SG to pay it Nineteen Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars(US$ 19,500,000.00),thereby saving GoG Twenty Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars(US$27,500,000.00)”; Mr. Hie’s testimony at the Judgment Debt Commission on September 17, 2003 raised serious ” credibility and integrity challenges” for Mr. Kan Dapaah in particular and the Kufuor Administration in general.
However, the cloud of doubt generated by Mr. Hie’s testimony has began to dissipate into thin air as the relevant documents and records emerge into the open. Painstaking investigations by The New Crusading GUIDE over the last few months both in Ghana and abroad, have led to the “interception” of some very critically vital financial and banking documents/records on the settlement negotiations between Societe Generale(SG) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation(GNPC) which clearly confirm that SG was indeed paid $19.5m in July 2001.
Published/scanned on the frontpage of this edition of The New Crusading GUIDE is the documentary evidence of the “Payment Order” from the Den norske Bank ASA,London Branch which effected the payment of the $19.5m telegraphically to the New York account of SG on July 16, 2001.
The “Payment Order” under reference which was signed by Anthony Manston-Edwards and Christopher Tregoning (both as Authorised Signatories) read: “We hereby irrevocably and unconditionally confirm that we have telegraphically remitted the following payment:
*Value Date: 16 July 2001
*Beneficiary: Societe Generale
*Account No: Societe Generale New York
* SWIFT: SOGEUS33
*Favour : Societe Generale, Paris
* SWIFT: SOGEFRPPHCM
*Account : 150371
*By Order Of: Frontier Drilling ASA
*Details: Part settlement of purchse price of “DISCOVERER 511”
The “Payment Order” dated 16th July 2001 was formally addressed to Societe Generale, 17, Cours Valmy, 92987, Paris La Defense, France.
The above details clearly corroborate the assertions made by Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah and Mr. K.T. Hammond that the French Bank, Societe Generale did indeed receive $19.5m ” in full and final settlement” of its dispute with GNPC in July 2001. They also effectively bury the cloud of doubt generated by the testimony of Mr. Hie at the Judgment Debt Commission, and of course, “kill off” the propaganda mischief unleashed to assassinate the characters and reputations of top officials of the Kufuor Administration whose responsibility it was to negotiate the GNPC out of the financial and managerial abyss that the Tsikata-led Management had thrown the Corporation into by January 2001 when the Kufuor Administration assumed the reigns of power in Ghana.
Please stay tuned for more on the results of our financial trail relative to the whereabouts of the balance of $3.5m banker’s draft in the name of the Government of Ghana (GoG) and related matters.
Source: New Crusading Guide