Palaver -- The 'Crusading Guide' has started doing exactly the same thing with the “Hotel Kufuor” Affair by publishing documents we strongly suspect it does not understand or that is surely going to make the case worse for the Kufuor family. And as we did with the CNTCI loan documents, so shall we do with the “Hotel Kufuor” documents. As the 'Crusading Guide' publishes them, we shall analyse them.
In its edition of last Tuesday, the 'Crusading Guide' published photocopies of three cheques purporting to be the cheques used in paying for “Hotel Kufuor”. It also published two receipts acknowledging the payments and a letter from (Chief) John Addo Kufuor as Director of Airport West Hospitality Ltd forwarding the last of the Prudential Bank's cheques for $1.5 million to Mr. Anthony Saoud of Accra as full and final settlement for the purchase of the Hotel.
Now let us tell the 'Crusading Guide' the problem those documents are going to cause the Kufuor family and further undermine the credibility of some of the people who have spoken on the matter.
In his interview with 'Radio Gold' last Tuesday, Hon. David Henric Yeboah, NPP MP for Afigya Sekyere East and son-in-law of Mr. Anthony Saoud, who held the power of attorney for Mr. Saoud to dispose of the Hotel, stated that he did not know how the 'Crusading Guide' got the cheques in question to photocopy and publish them.
The 'Crusading Guide's publication exposes that denial as a lie and seriously dents the credibility of Hon. Yeboah as a truthful witness. The cheques were given to the 'Crusading Guide' either by Hon. Yeboah himself, since he claimed to have collected them, or by somebody in their camp.
Why do we say this? Because none of the three published cheques bears the stamp of any bank; neither the receiving bank nor the paying bank. What it means is that whoever collected the cheques made photocopies of the cheques before paying them into any bank. It was those photocopies that were given to the 'Crusading Guide', which the paper duly published. That is the only explanation for why the cheques do not bear the stamps of any bank.
Next, the Bank of Ghana cheque, which is a payment order drawn on the Prudential Bank and made payable to Mr. Anthony Saoud, bears the date 30-08-04. (Chief) John Addo Kufuor's letter forwarding the cheque is dated August 26, 2004, and it quotes the cheque number of the Bank of Ghana cheque dated 30-08-04 as 391676.
We all know that payment orders from the Central Bank are not post-dated, so when (Chief) John Addo Kufuor was writing his letter to Anthony Saoud on 26th August 2004, how did he know that the Bank of Ghana cheque to be issued on 30-08-04 was going to bear the number 391676? Economic Crime Experts Economic crime experts consulted by the 'Ghana Palaver' have explained that apart from its propaganda value, the cheques themselves as published in the 'Crusading Guide' mean nothing at all and have no probative value.
It does not mean that the National Investment Bank (NIB), a wholly state-owned bank, which has been mentioned as have participated in the consortium, did not contribute to the payment of the Hotel. Neither does it mean that no other banks or organizations contributed to the payment. All it means is that Prudential Bank after the mobilization of the resources, was the bank that issued the cheques, and nobody has ever questioned that. NIB Involvement 'Ghana Palaver' has learnt that NIB contributed US$2.3 million of the amount and also purchased US$200,000 shares in the project.
As earlier published in our paper, our editor has actually met the official who processed the documentation on “Hotel Kufuor” at the NIB. He admitted having processed the loan application for the “Hotel Kufuor”, but begged on his knees that his identity be kept secret, as he was afraid for his life. The official is no longer in the employment of the NIB.
Our editor has also spoken on the phone with Dr. Charles Jebuni, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NIB. He refused to speak about the transaction on grounds of banking confidentiality. Cover Up 'Ghana Palaver' has also picked up rumours that the entire story about a consortium of banks and Prudential Bank cheques and all that is all a charade and a big cover up.
According to the rumour, which we are still investigating, the “Hotel Kufuor” deal was paid for with hard cash, and that the stories that are being told are all spins and are part of a massive Government cover up.
The rumours have traced the sources of the money variously to a foreign gold mining company operating in the country, a certain country in the western part of Africa where oil has recently been found in very large quantities, and a Ghanaian gold mining company.
The economic crime expert consulted by this paper agreed with the NDC Minority in Parliament and was of the view that given the complications that have arisen in this matter and the variety of stories that are circulating about the transaction, only a public enquiry can put an end to the matter.