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08.05.2008 General News

'JJ’s threats forced me out"

By Daily Graphic/GNA
'JJ’s threats forced me out
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A video recording of former President Jerry John Rawlings' attack on the personality of Mr Richmond Aggrey, a businessman who has sued Scancom Limited, operators of MTN, over a shareholding dispute, was on Wednesday played at the Commercial Court in Accra.

In the recording, former President Rawlings accused Dr Aggrey of going round the world cheating people and had committed similar offences in Nigeria and was being sought for by that country's authorities.

This revelation came up when Dr Aggrey, who was continuing with his evidence-in-chief in the ongoing case, presented a recorded videotape of the 1999 Emancipation Day Celebrations to support his claim that Former President Rawlings was interfering in the affairs of the company.

Dr Aggrey said he had several calls from Mr Edward Salia, Minister of Communications, and members of the Lebanese community urging him to step down for the company to proceed because of his problem with the then Government.

He said even though most members of the Board of the company knew of his harassment they did not do anything to help.

He said though the company was awarded a certificate to roll out its products, all of a sudden it received letters from the National Communication Authority (NCA) for them to cede some of their frequencies to the Authority.

Dr Aggrey said because the former President's plan to get him out of the company was succeeding, members of the Board of the company decided that they must find a way to indicate that he (Dr Aggrey) was resigning in order to stop the Former President from interfering.

He said he was asked by the other shareholders to write his resignation letter with copies sent to his Lawyers and some leaked to the press to create the impression that he was leaving the company.

Asked by his Counsel, Mr Yonny Kulendi why they had to leak his resignation to the media, Dr Aggrey said this was to stop Former President Rawlings from interfering in the company, buy time as well as find respectable Ghanaians to talk to him.

Mr Felix Ntrakwah, Counsel for Investcom Consortium Holding, raised objection to the videotapes on the grounds that the Plaintiff only indicated that he was going to tender them in evidence and not to play them but the Court rejected his claim.

Dr Aggrey also said he did not want to leave the company because it was going to impair the company's ability to raise further money for its expansion.

Dr Aggrey has sued Scancom Limited, operators of Areeba Mobile Phone Service, now MTN, and Investcom Consortium Holdings S.A. of Beirut, Labanon, majority shareholders in Areeba as well as Grandview Management of Texas, United States, to claim 20 per cent share of the company.

The case was adjourned to May 15.

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