STAFF MEMBERS of the Energy Commission, have expressed utter shock at reports that some senior staff of the commission, had manhandled and assaulted their former Executive Secretary.
Mr Kofi Asante, when he went to the commission's offices at Frema House, last Wednesday, May 11, 2005.
The workers insisted no such incident occurred, adding that, what was reported to the media, was a one-sided account, suspected to have been concocted by their embattled executive secretary, to court public sympathy.
In a rejoinder at the weekend, signed by Mr. Isaac K. Mintah, head of Human Resource, on behalf of the Commission's Management Team, in Accra intimated that there was no unfinished business which Mr. Asante had to finish, and for which reason he visited the Commission on that fateful day.
According to Mr Mintah, what is truthful is that Mr. Asante, and some of his close associates at the Energy Commission, were seen at the commission's premises over the whole weekend, preceding that fateful Wednesday, and the assumption was that he was clearing out his desk, after he had received the directive to step-down from office, with immediate effect, on Wednesday, May 4, 2005.
Giving a low-down as to what transpired on the day being complained of, the head of Human Resource (HR), at the Energy Commission, Mr. Kofi Asante, arrived at the commission, through a side door, last Wednesday.
He disclosed that at the time, newly-formed management team, had barely an hour earlier been given directives by the Deputy Minister of Energy, Hon. K.T. Hammond, that Mr Asante, was not to be allowed access to his office.
Consequently, the two senior management officials, namely, Messrs Isaac Tagoe, head of Petroleum, and Isaac Mintah, head of HR, went up to convey this directive to Mr Asante, after they had been informed by the security personnel that Mr. Asante was in the building.
He observed that it was worthy of note that Mrs Nyantakyi did not form part of this team, and was not present when the two gentlemen met with Mr Asante, and was actually at the reception when he was leaving the building. “No one heckled, nor touched Mr Asante, and we insist no-one”, Mr Mintah emphasised.
He claimed that, on the other hand, it was Mr Asante who tried to provoke Mr. Otu-Danquah, a Programmes Officer of the Commission, when he saw him on the corridor where he claims, Otu-Danquah, attempted to slap him, for no apparent reason.
Mr Otu-Danquah, he said, joined in persuading Mr. Asante to leave as per the directives.
“Mr Otu-Danquah never touched him”, he emphasised. The head of HR added that for Mr. Kofi Asante to report to his lawyers, therefore, that he was manhandled, is shocking, and untenable.
According to Mr. Mintah, Mr Asante's claim that he was assaulted, when he was not, seems to confirm the suspicion that he is prone to altering the truth, as is evidenced by his recent utterances in the media.
He pointed out that it was important to note that Mr. Asante had been in and out of the office for a greater part of last Tuesday, May 10, 2005, without any hindrance from anyone, adding, “we, the senior staff, are disciplined, law abiding professional staff, who would, in no way, mis-conduct ourselves in such manner”.
Finally, the rejoinder made it clear that the Strategic National Energy Plan (SNEP), circulated, contrary to advice, when Mr Asante was supposed to be out of office, and signed on the commission's letterhead, is an incomplete document, a draft which has not been reviewed.
Mr Mintah submitted that the SNEP was articulated to Mr. Kofi Asante by the technical experts of the Planning Division of the Energy Commission, who are the real authors of the Strategic National Energy Plan.
“Mr Asante, therefore, chose to distribute the unfinished document, unfortunately, putting the reputation of the staff of the commission on the line, since the SNEP that he is touting and has presented to the Minister of Energy, is an incomplete document”, asserted the Human Resource Manager.