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09.10.2008 Feature Article

Presidency Stonewalling Enquiries Into… Why Is Kuwait Oil Suing Prez. Kufuor

Presidency Stonewalling Enquiries Into… Why Is Kuwait Oil Suing Prez. Kufuor

In what is being seen as a conspiracy of silence, Ghana's Presidency and top Executives of Kuwait Oil are stonewalling efforts to investigate reports that Kuwait Oil has instituted action against the Ghanaian President, John Agyekum Kufuor at the International Court of Arbitration.

Kuwait Oil Company, one of the largest oil producing companies in the world, is said to have gone to the International Court of Arbitration to sue Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor, President of Ghana, and some Nigerian partners of his for debts owed Kuwait Oil by a company in which the respondents (Mr. Kufuor and the others) have interests.

Available information indicates that Kuwait Oil is suing for the recovery of a mind-boggling $5.5bn.

Information available indicates that Kuwait Oil has already obtained a court injunction on several personal properties belonging to President Kufuor, both in and outside Ghana, as a form of surety to get Mr Kufuor to pay the debt.

The Chairman of Kuwait Oil, Sami Al Rushaid, would not respond to several telephone calls and email enquiries sent to him.

However, Sami Al Rushaid's secretary told this paper in a follow up enquiry that our enquiries had been referred to the legal department of Kuwait Oil.

Ergo: Why would the Chairman of Kuwait Oil refer our enquiries to their legal department if they [Kuwait Oil] had not sued the Ghanaian President?

Our information is that Kuwait Oil entered into a business deal with a company in which Mr. Kufuor is said to have substantial interest. Indeed, information has it that the Ghanaian President is the largest shareholder in the said company, which is said to be based in Nigeria,.

According to our information, the company, entered into a deal with Kuwait Oil for lifting of oil to be sold in Africa.

A source close to Kuwait Oil told this paper that Kuwait Oil was initially unwilling to do business with the Nigerian-based company, “however, your President personally intervened and guaranteed the credibility of the company, and it was based on his personal guarantee that Kuwait Oil started doing business with the company, giving them sixty-day credit line.”

According to the source, “the Nigerian-based company has defaulted in its payment, and the principal plus interest due Kuwait Oil as at July of 2008 was in the region of $5.5billion.”

Unconfirmed but credible reports have it that by August 31, 2008, Mr. Kufuor had managed to settle nearly $4bn out of the debt of $5.5bn.

But the Secretary to the President, Ambassador D. K. Osei, pooh-poohed the matter when this paper contacted him for confirmation of the story.

“Do you believe that a foreign company can sue the President?” was his response.
Stay tuned.

Weekly Standard
Weekly Standard, © 2008

This author has authored 1 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: WeeklyStandard

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