Published: 04 July 2017
Last Updated: 04 July 2017
04 Jul 2017
The Minority in Parliament has accused the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) of trying to cover up the circumstances surrounding the sale of the five million contaminated fuel by Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Limited (BOST).
It said the call by the BNI on the Minister of Energy to dissolve the committee investigating the sale of contaminated fuel amounted to a cover up.
The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, told journalists in Accra on Tuesday that the twist was an attempt by the government to shield the BOST Managing Director, Mr Alfred Obeng Boateng, because of his political connection.
He asked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to allow the ministerial committee to proceed with full investigation of the matter.
"We therefore think if Mr President means well in fighting corruption, he should not be seen supporting any cover up and allow the ministerial committee to proceed henceforth with full investigation of the matter and report publicly", he said.
A total of five million litres of fuel are said to be contaminated at BOST, and the contaminated product was reportedly sold to Movenpiina and ZUP OIL.
Consequently, the Minister of Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko, set a committee to investigate the whole issue.
The BNI, which also initiated an investigation into the issue, asked the Minister of Energy to dissolve the committee.
Mr Iddrisu described the action of the BNI as bizarre and uncharacteristic development in the country.
"The BNI is acting in a manner that we do not only smell but we can sense a cover up in respect of the matter of the selling of contaminated oil by BOST which matter borders on fraud, corruption and abuse of office.
"We are aware that the Minister of Energy has set up a committee to investigate the matter. We are now being told that the BNI is asking for a dissolution of that committee. That can only be a gargantuan cover up. We believe that this action of the BNI can only be sowing the seeds of corruption in our country and also preventing sunshine on a matter of public interest", he said.
The Minority Leader said the mere selling of contaminated oil mattered to motorists, and that the mere admission by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) it had not licensed a particular entity also raised major issues as to whether the government dealt with a registered or an unregistered company.
Mr Iddrisu asked the BNI to come out publicly to share with the people what they had investigated and what their findings were, "but not just a mere statement to the effect that the Minister should dissolve his committee."
He said the Minority was already aware of internal turf war between the Minister of Energy and other players within government.
The BNI and the National Security are said to have cleared the BOST MD of any wrongdoing in the sale of the contaminated fuel. The investigations indicated that Mr Obeng Boateng was not in office when the incident occurred.
Mr Iddrisu said the NPA had issued an official communication indicating that the fuel was contaminated and that Movenpiina Company Limited was not a registered company when it procured the contaminated fuel.
"Where does the BNI put the position of the NPA on the matter", he asked, and stated the Minority in Parliament wanted the investigation to respond to the primary basic issues, such as the sale of contaminated oil to an unregistered unlicensed company.
"We are in interesting times in fighting corruption, avarice and abuse of office that a certain particular individual cannot be probed or investigated because of his political connection", he said.e scheduled oral examination by the Attorney General (AG) in relation to the Ghc51.2 million indebtedness to the state.
Giving the ruling Tuesday morning, the court presided over by a single judge, Mr Justice A.A Benin, was of the view that the application had no basis.
Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson of graphic online reported that, the court said Mr Woyome failed to demonstrate that he will suffer any hardship or irreparable damage as a result of the oral examination.
Again, the court said the fact that Mr Woyome had filed a review of the case does not mean that the oral examination should be halted.
The court therefore said there was no basis for the application that sought to halt the oral examination.
Hawkson reported that, Mr Woyome’s counsel brought a medical report to court that stated that Mr Woyome was sick and that he should be off duty for two weeks.
The state, represented by the Deputy Attorney General (AG) Mr Godfred Dame however argued that Mr Woyome got that medical report on June 30, 2017, a day after he was in the Supreme Court.
Counsel argued the medical report was therefore part of the ploy to dodge the oral examination and that irrespective of whatever, Mr Woyome does, “the day of reckoning would definitely catch up with him, he can’t run any longer.”
The court therefore agreed to adjourn to July 24, 2017 by which time Mr Woyome would have recovered from the sickness.