Former Managing Director of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport (BOST) Kwame Awuah-Darko has denied the allegations of thievery through some suspected illegal payments at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) to the previous Mahama administration.
The Centre for National Affairs (CNA), a pressure group, has petitioned the Office of the Special Prosecutor to initiate criminal investigations into some illegal transfers done by the former BOST MD, Awuah Darko to the Mahama government.
CNA, in a letter signed by its Executive Director, Samuel Odame Lartey, said it had ‘gathered’ evidence that a whopping GH¢40.5 million was transferred from BOST to the presidency under John Mahama.
They claimed the recipient’s account was Chief of Staff’s Sundries Account No. 1, with account number 1018631473188 at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), and the alleged illegal transfers were done from August 2015 until early January 2017 when the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) handed over to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) after the December 7, 2016, general election.
But Mr. Awuah Darko in a telephone interview with Kasapa FMcontested the claims made by the group insisting he’d never been involved in any collusion with government officials to rip off the state as being claimed.
According to him, approvals were granted at all levels to protect the legitimacy of the said transaction [Transfers to Chief of Staff sundries account].
He added: “So the story that EOCO is chasing me is palpably false… and the issue of transfers to the CoS is not illegal as is being suggested…In fact if one wants to steal money, why would one transfer the money to a statutory account held by the Chief of Staff, which can be audited at any point in time.”
According to him, when he received EOCO’s letter, he called the office and spoke to the DG’s assistant and followed it up with a letter which he copied his lawyers.
“In my response to EOCO, I gave them my telephone number and my email on which I could be reached on. EOCO has not responded to my letter either by email or by phone to date. EOCO is not and cannot be chasing me since they know of my whereabouts,” he said
According to him, the account was not fake account, neither the Chief of Staff of the President of the Republic of Ghana a fake position.
He said BOST by virtue of their mandate took up the task of supplying fuel to Armed Forces and the Presidency at the request of the CDS (Admiral Quarshie) and the CoS because the Goods & Services budget allocated to them by MoFEP was inadequate to keep them operational
“Needless to say our hitherto smooth sailing situation with Goil ran into serious reconciliation issues as a result of the confusion around which fuel we supplied went to the security services, and which went to Goil.
“After BOST made a number of regular monthly supplies, probably in the region of 6 or 7 months, our attention was drawn to the fact that we were not an OMC and as such we could not supply the military directly and so we commenced the supply via Go Energy and Goil whom we were also supplying through the Strategic Reserve Petroleum Program I had instituted at BOST.
“It was at this point when a decision was made that in order to avoid the reconciliation issues and not put the entire fuel security programme at risk we come up with a solution that keeps the Military and the Presidency’s fuel operations running…
“As such at the end of every month we would look at the cash that had accrued into that fund (bearing in mind, the cash accruing into that fund, by virtue of its set up, did not belong to BOST and could not be used by the company) was duly paid into the designated account for the funds the Chief of Staff sundries account… This I can say on authority, was used to fuel the entire Presidency, including the Presidential Jet and other National Security operations….” he said.
According to him, he later went to the Board and got approval that internally BOST funds it by putting 5 pesewas on top of ALL their sales out of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Programme to fund fueling the Presidency and selected Security Service.