Ex gratia: Parliament grills GNPC today
The parliamentary select committee on Mines and Energy will today Monday, December 7, 2015 continue its meeting with officials of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) over claims by former deputy Minister of Energy K.T. Hammond that four ex-officials of the corporation have been paid huge sums of money as ex gratia.
The committee members will take turns to interrogate officials of GNPC concerning the claims made by the Adansi-Asokwa Member of Parliament (MP).
Mr Hammond, a ranking member of the committee, alleged in an interview with journalists that the four beneficiaries are former CEO Tsatsu Tsikata, his wife, Esther Cobbah – who was GNPC’s Public Affairs Manager at the time – former acting CEO Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye, and former Field Evaluation and Development Manager Benjamin Dagadu, who is currently a deputy Minister.
According to Mr Hammond, the monies were paid to the four officials for no work done.
However, the GNPC released a statement last week confirming the payment to the four, but checks by Class News indicate that only Mr Dagadu, Deputy Minister of Petroleum, has received the payment.
MP for Bekwai, Joe Osei-Owusu, argued that the GNPC board went contrary to advice from their lawyers. According to him, GNPC’s own conditions of service do not support the payments.
In a sharp rebuttal, Mr. Tsikata and Esther Cobbah have denied being beneficiaries of any ex gratia from the corporation.
Mr. Tsikata has since sued the Adansi Asokwa MP for defamation. Meanwhile, the Minority in parliament last week succeeded in blocking the approval of the GNPC’s budget, leaving the speaker to defer debate on it to today Monday, December 7, 2015.