Palaver -- Rumours filtering through to our News Desk speak of a major shake-up at the National Investment Bank (NIB) following the publication of our “bombshell” of a story that it was the NIB and not Prudential Bank that played the lead role in syndicating the loan that was used to purchase “Hotel Kufuor”.
We are informed that officials at the Bank are running “helter skelter” trying to find out who could have leaked the information, and how much of the details are known to 'Ghana Palaver' and possibly other media houses.
One of the reasons for the panic, and especially of Mr. D. K. C. Gyimah, the Managing Director is also said to be the fear that any close scrutiny of the Bank's operations will reveal two very unsavoury matters:
· The fact that the NIB has been used as the main conduit for “laundering” the NPP's monies and for lending for NPP operations, using various stratagems;
· Over 80% of all lendings by the Bank since the NPP came to power have been made to members of a particular ethnic group and Companies owned by members of a particular ethnic group.
It will be recalled that in our issue Vol. 11 No. 62 of Tuesday May 24 – Thursday, May 26, 2005, we published that the “Hotel Kufuor” transaction was underwritten by the NIB, which put up an amount of US$2 million for the Hotel and purchased US$200,000 equity in the Project.
We revealed also that the transaction was put together using a private individual's account at the NIB.
Kwabena Agyepong denies J. S. Addo's Involvement
In a related development, the President's Press Secretary, Kwabena Agyepong, was at pains last week on Radio Gold and Joy FM to deny the 'Daily Guide' publication of May 23, 2005, that he had sought to link Mr. J. S. Addo, former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, to the “Hotel Kufuor” transaction.
According to Kwabena Agyepong, the 'Daily Guide' uncharacteristically misreported him, and that what he had said was that it was the Prudential Bank that was involved in the transaction and not Mr. J. S. Addo.
But what the 'Daily Guide' actually reported was that Kwabena Agyepong had told the paper that “the Hotel Kufuor affair, is a purely business transaction between Chief Kufuor and J. S. Addo of the Prudential Bank, who is a close friend of the Kufuors——”.
So if Kwabena Agyepong did not mention J. S. Addo, how did the matter of his being a “close friend of the Kufuors” surface in the publication?
What 'Ghana Palaver' has learnt however, is that Mr. J. S. Addo was livid at the report and had threatened to issue a personal Press Statement denying the report, hence Kwabena Agyepong's frantic attempts to distance the former Central Bank Governor from the “Hotel Kufuor” transaction.
But this is only one further evidence of how the scandal continues to smear personalities in “amoebic” fashion as the President's men continue to open their mouths in an unguarded and most amateurish manner.