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16.05.2007 General News

ALAN “CASH” KYEREMATENG AND THE NPP’S “FA WO TO BEGYE CASH” SCANDAL (Part 2)

By The Enquirer
EX-EDIF CHAIRMAN –- “ALAN HELD ME HOSTAGE, 2 DAYS TO PAY ¢30BN

---The money was paid from Grant Account instead of Loan Account
---I was put under so much duress that I referred Alan to why Peprah went to jail.
---There was no loan agreement, Alan insisted to get Grant even when we said it was a loan
The chips are down; Alan Kyeremanteng's ¢30 billion cash bonanza was paid from the Grant Account of EDIF. There was no loan agreement. The EDIF Board did not approve the facility, but Ex-Chairman of the EDIF, Mr. J. Addae, now reveals, he was held hostage for two days by the Minister and forced to approve the facility against the advice of his Board.
“I was forced to stay in Accra for two days because after the Board meeting which rejected the request, the other members left. I had to stay there just to find something I could write to please the man (Alan Kyremateng) to allow me to go back to Kumasi to see my family,” Mr. Addae narrated.
According to the Ex-EDIF Chairman, “Alan Kyeremanteng was not prepared to accept the rejection of his request so I referred him to Kwame Peprah's incident. I said look if Kwame Peprah had taken his time to do due diligence this problem with his imprisonment will not have come about”.
I am not a lawyer but I was put under serious duress. Even the Board didn't take kindly to that letter I wrote for Alan.
The Ex-Board Chairman told the Enquirer that even though his Board declared that the Minister's request should be treated as a loan, there was no loan agreement.
“There was no loan agreement. You see, the whole thing was done in such a way just to please the Minister because the pressure was so much”, he revealed.
He further noted that for every loan facility to succeed, the law requires the Board to do that through Designated Financial Institutions (DFI) but again they had to give them directly because of the pressure from the sector Minister.
“Imagine your boss, you know, instructing you to do things even though it is contrary to your expectation, if you didn't do it perhaps, the wrath will be on you, so you try and help somehow but I can assure you it wasn't as easy as one could imagine,” he added.
The Ex-EDIF Chairman said: “The Minister insisted that the funds should be given to them as a Grant and the Board objected to that”, adding that “In fact, this dragged on for sometime and we had to refer to the A-G's Department for interpretation of the Act relating to it and then he wrote to say, no we couldn't give the money as Grant but the Minister insisted it should be a Grant”.
The Board Chairman narrated his ordeal at the hands of the Minister, saying: “I live in Kumasi, but after a Board meeting (when the request was refused) I had to stay in Accra till Friday, just because a letter I wrote to the Minister that the request could not be granted was not acceptable and that the facility should be given as a loan was not acceptable to him”.
Mr. Addae continued that “I had to write a letter (approving the request) even against the wish of my Board. I told my Board my ordeal, and said we should treat this as a special facility, saying the repayment starts after 10 years”.
The Board Chair said that this too was not acceptable to the Minister who insisted that as far as he was concerned “we should give them as Grant and the Board also said, no we couldn't do that because it was not acceptable to the A-G's interpretation of the (EDIF) Act”.
The Ex-Board Chairman said after he wrote a letter to the Minister conveying the position of his Board to the Minister, he gave it to Mr. Bekoe.
When asked of the content of his letter he said “it said that it was a loan and Mr. Bekoe said no, if we didn't say it was a Grant, the Minister will not accept it.” So I finally wrote that it was a Special Facility.
Narrating his ordeal to The Enquirer, Mr. Addae said “There was nothing I could do because the Minister was insisting that I should state categorically that it was a Grant. Of course, I couldn't do that because we had sought the interpretation from the A-G.
“ I had to stay there for two days just to find something to tell this man so that he could leave me to come to Kumasi and finally what I had to write was that it was a Special Facility being granted to beneficiaries of the GNTC warehouse”, he said.
Mr. Addae said even that, the Minister and his cool Aide Mr. Bekoe, were not happy, adding that “but I could not state categorically that it was a Grant because we couldn't throw that money away”.
“It was ¢30.6 billion; almost about ¢31 billion, and I told the Minister that if he didn't take care, a lot of persons will be coming to seek facilities in the same way and that if we gave them the money eventually the whole EDIF fund was going to dry up”.
“I told the Minister, at least I told him in the face, that one day somebody will point to him as the one during whose tenure the fund was exhausted”, Mr. Addae recollected.,
Reacting to a statement from Alan Kyeremanteng and Mr. Joe Ghartey that it is the Board who should be held responsible for approving the ¢30billion if it was illegal, Mr. Addae said “I am surprised to hear the Minister tell you all that. I am really surprised, how can a whole Minister tell these stories. It is surprising, it is surprising. He refused to accept the letter”.
He continued that if Bekoe would tell the truth, it would emerge that the Minister is not being truthful.
“Anyway, if the Minister himself is not saying the truth, I don't even expect Bekoe himself to say the truth,” he added”.
(Culled from “The Enquirer”)
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