It is emerging that the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu and the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Cassiel Ato Forson, both of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) facilitated the meeting between Aker Energy and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) leading to some moneys exchanging hands over the US$1.65 billion oil blocks transaction.
The Executive Secretary of Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson, who has confessed to receiving a cash amount of GHc10, 000 from Aker Energy and GNPC, days before the US$1.65 billion loan got to Parliament, revealed that the said meeting was arranged by the Tamale South Member of Parliament and his counterpart from the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam Constituency in the Central Region.
According to the ASEPA boss, he got phone calls from Haruna Iddrisu and Cassiel Ato Forson, who are on the Mines and Energy Committee, as well as the Finance Committee of Parliament that agents Aker Energy; the sellers and GNPC; the buyers of the US$1.65 billion oil blocks would like to meet him, and that he should listen to them.
Mr Thompson told The Herald in an interview that, not long after the calls from the two MPs, the Country Manager of the Aker Energy; Kadija Nana Adwoa Amoah and the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of GNPC; Joseph Dadzie, met him at a car park of an office at Airport Residential Area in Accra, where he had gone to see a friend and handed him the envelope containing the cash days before the loan agreement got to Parliament.
While, the reason behind Ato Forson's call to the Civil Society Organization (CSO) is unknown, The Herald picked up information that Kadija, is the stepdaughter of former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Alhaji Salifu COP who died in 2007.
She grew up in Tamale in the Northern Region and was held by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu as his younger sister.
Haruna had a couple of times intervened on behalf of Kadija, whose stepfather he considered his godfather until his death some 13 years ago.
But deep within the NDC Minority in Parliament, is a wave of mistrust and a feeling of betrayal amongst the members by the leadership.
Most of them hold the view that the Minority leadership has been compromised with money, hence unable to adequately hold the Akufo-Addo government to accountability and transparency in deals like GNPC's US$1.65 billion transaction which some have described as fishy.
The current wave of the mistrust and a feeling of betrayal on the Minority side, has been fueled by the Akufo-Addo government sponsorship of some MPs to a recent trip on this year's Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Taxes, USA, from 16-19 August, including some MPs from the NDC side of the House.
Abdul-Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, MP for Wa Central constituency in the Upper West Region, Della Sowah, MP for Kpando constituency in the Volta Region were also named have been on the Texas trip.
Some of the MPs were sponsored by GNPC.
Ghana's Minister for Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, led a delegation of government officials and businessmen, but reports from Parliament says that John Jinapo, Kwabena Donkor, Edward Bawa, who are members of the Mines and Energy Committee had attended the conference in the US sponsored by institutions under Energy Ministry.
The committee is led by Samuel Atta Akyea; a cousin to President Akufo-Addo and the MP for Abuakwa South, also attended the OTC conference, where energy professionals around the world meet to exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters.
But Edward Bawa, who has publicly spoke against the US$1.65 billion loan on several platforms, demanding further and better particulars, in a short interaction admitted to The Herald that he was indeed, in Texas, but insisted that his trip was sponsored by Parliament as part of capacity-building of MPs.
However, Edward Bawa, who is the MP of Bongo Constituency in the Upper East Region on the ticket of the NDC, told The Herald that Dr. Kwabena Donkor, a former Minister for Power with the NDC MP for the Pru East constituency, in the Bono East Region, was sponsored by the Petroleum Commission led by Egbert Faibille.
Edward Bawa, a former Communications Director at the Energy Ministry, opined that Dr. Kwabena Donkor's sponsorship package is part of arrangement at the Petroleum Commission ,where ex-Chief Executives of the Commission are sent on such trips abroad. The Pru MP, had once served as CEO of the Commission.
The Herald, last week dropped the names of Joseph Dadzie and Kadija Amoah, as acting on behalf of both the buyer and the seller moving from office to office together to influence Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to buy into the deal which has since become highly controversial and described as worse than the PDS and Agyarpa Mineral Royalties transactions.
Aside the ASEPA boss, the Executive Secretary at the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), Duncan Amoah has also admitted he got a GHC30, 000 from Kadija Amoah and Joseph Dadzie, who is the Deputy CEO in-charge of Commerce, Strategy and Business Development at GNPC.
Unlike the ASEPA boss, whose meeting was facilitated by the two MPs, Duncan Amoah of COPEC, disclosed to The Herald that his meeting with Kadija Amoah and Joseph Dadzie, where he was given GHC30, 000 by the two in his office, was facilitated by Evans Mensa, a journalist with Joy FM.
Evans, however, has admitted to The Herald that he does some media consultancy for Aker Energy, but denied being part of the meeting with Duncan Amoah in his office with Joseph Dadzie and Kadija Amoah to elicit COPEC's support and also give him money.
However, Duncan Amoah, in a follow up interaction with The Herald insisted that the said meeting indeed, took place with Evans Mensah.
Aside the Civil Societies, some Ghanaian journalists, have been mentioned as compromised, hence "playing soft ball" on the transaction described as worse than the botched Agyapa Royalties transaction and the PDS consortium deal.
Evans Mensah, who was mentioned as handing over the cash to some of the CSO leaders in some instances persistently described as "false" Duncan Amoah's statement that he was in his office with Joseph Dadzie and Kadija Amoah to elicit COPEC's support and also give him money.
While, ASEPA's Mensah Thompson, who described the GHc10, 000 from GNPC and Aker Energy as "something small" kept evading questions when The Herald called about the meeting and the fact that money exchanged hands, however, COPEC's Duncan Amoah, insists his money was available and could be produced on demand.
Both Duncan Amoah and Mensah Thompson, separately told The Herald, they were not the only ones that Joseph Dadzie and Kadija Amoah met and gave money to.
Duncan in particular, opined that Steve Manteaw, got more than everyone, hence his spirited defense of the deal against the positions of Ben Boakye of African Center for Energy Policy and Bright Simons of the IMANI Ghana, who are demanding transparency and accountability ahead of GNPC forking out over US$1 billion dollars as loans to invest in unverified and unquantified oil blocks.
More to Come!