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19.02.2009 Feature Article

Between Tsatsu Tsikata and Charles Gyimah - The Parallels

Case Against Tsatsu Tsikata: Caused 230,000 new Ghana cedis or 2.3 billion

old cedis loss to the state. This is equivalent to 165, 613 US dollars.

Case Against Daniel Charles Gyimah: Caused (83.33 Million new Ghana cedis) or (833.268 Billion old Ghana cedis) financial loss to the state. This is equivalent to 60,000,000 (60 million) US dollars.

In term of percentages, the financial loss that Tsatsu caused to the state is just 0.28% of what Daniel Charles Gyimah has caused the state.

Tsatsu had 5 years for 'causing' 0.28% of the crime that Gyimah caused the state and therefore Gyimah must be sentenced to 1,811.45 years, one thousand, eight hundred and eleven years, (or 21,737 months, 13 days).

The Story
When GNPC went into a genuine investment based on sound advice from the IFC (not the dubious NPP IFC) and the Merchant bank, heaven broke lose. Ex-president Kufuor was at the forefront, moving heaven and earth in twisting justice and implicated Tsatsu in wrongdoing, when the available evidence does not adduce to the crime.

To those who don't know the background of Tsatsu's case, here is a synopsis of the case.

Somewhere in 1991, Tsatsu (then CEO of GNPC) went into a JV with Valley Farms (a cocoa production venture). Readers should note that as of 1991, the law of causing financial loss to the state was not even in existence but John Agyekum Kufuor thinks in his lawyer's brain, the case must take a retroactive effect.

The IFC, a branch of the World Bank, which did the project appraisal, was manipulated by the NPP government and the IFC would not even tell Ghanaians what exactly they told the GNPC that convinced them of the viability of the project.

The Merchant bank, then bankers for GNPC (I don't know if they still are) was the very entity that approached the GNPC to participate in the venture.

So this was how the marriage made in hell began.
Interestingly, this same Merchant bank is still part owner of the same venture that is supposed to be frivolous and wasteful of the taxpayer's money.

The argument against Tsatsu was that he unilaterally (without the approval of the board of directors of GNPC) guaranteed a loan from Caisse Centrale de Development to the JV. However, when the venture couldn't meet its cash flow projections, GNPC was called upon to pay for the debt. Hello! Tsatsu was not the one who paid the money back to Caisse Centrale de Development. He was then out of the GNPC. He said if he had had the opportunity to pay for the loan, he would have disposed of GNPC's assets in the JV, instead of using state cash to settle the debt. A very smart move that most well established companies use every time, dispose of assets.

We should also not forget that when GNPC paid for the loan, it increased its share in the project. So it wasn't just an issue of GNPC paying up for the loan and having nothing to show for it.

Fast forward to February, 2009

One Daniel Charles Gyimah, MD of National Investment Bank (NIB) has been arrested for causing financial loss to the state. He has been granted bail (condition for the bail hasn't been met and he's still in detention, the situation could change by the time you read this article). Mr. Daniel Charles Gyimah has guaranteed a promissory note to the tune of 60 million US Dollars to one Eland International (Ghana ) Limited in May 2007 (the notes have been discounted with Iroko Security Company Limited for 45 million US dollars). The notes matured in January 2009.

Just as it was in Tsatsu's case, Daniel Charles Gyimah, is said to have by-passed the NIB board of directors and unilaterally guaranteed the promissory notes. Also intriguing is the allegation that major documents covering the deal cannot be found in the bank's records.

As to whether the NIB has paid the money to Iroko Security Company Ltd or not I can't tell for certain. Even if the NIB hasn't paid the money to Iroko, what are the chances that they will not call for payment tomorrow, when Daniel Charles Gyimah is free on bail?

There is this young man called Mr. Egbert Faibille, a bought gun of the NPP and a member of the Coffee Shop Mafia. Mr. Egbert Faibille says he once worked with the GNPC, when Tsatsu was the CEO. He accuses Tsatsu of running a one-man show at GNPC and hence his culpability in the Valley farms case.

As I write now, this same cacophonous Egbert Faibille has formed a group that calls itself 'Free Dan Gyimah Movement'. So Egbert Faibille, who condemned Tsatsu for all his (Tsatsu's) 'mismanagement' and unilateralism at GNPC, is now a crusader for the liberty and freedom for Daniel Charles Gyimah for his (Daniel's) alleged mismanagement and unilateralism at NIB. Interesting days we live in. How deceitful can one be?

Some are reading political motives into Mr. Gyimah's arrest. Some say he's been arrested because as Chairman of the university council of University of Development Studies (UDS), a university that was established through a 50,000 US dollars donation from Rawlings, Mr. Gyimah stopped the UDS from awarding an honorary doctorate degree to Rawlings. We all remember the drama that surrounded that UDS award. I guess the whole thing was not political. Hmmmm!

But granted that the man stopped the UDS from giving the degree to Rawlings, my question to Ghanaians is did Rawlings ask Daniel Charles Gyimah to by-pass the NIB board of directors and unilaterally guarantee a promissory note worth 60 million US dollars to Eland International (Ghana) Limited if indeed he did? There is a Nigerian adage that says 'they that the gods want to destroy, they first make mad'.

The chicken is coming home to roost.
Akwabaa, Daniel Charles Gyimah, et al.

Credit: Ten Factorial, 10! [email protected]

Ten Factorial
Ten Factorial, © 2009

This author has authored 2 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: TenFactorial

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