The landlord of the building that houses Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) in Takoradi, John Donkor is threatening to sue the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for making unsubstantiated allegations about him misleading the public about his dealings with the Ministry.
Adom News earlier reported that the Bureau of National Investigations prevented some Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) staff from moving stuff out of the EDC building because GNPC had failed to mention anything about EDC in their handing over notes to the Transition Team then.
Subsequently, the Energy Ministry put out a statement saying information about EDC was in their handing over notes so it need not to have been in GNPCs also.
In that statement, signed by Communications Director of the Ministry, Adawu Wellington, the Ministry claimed their attempt to move out stuff from the building was because they offered the landlord US$3,000 as monthly rent and he rejected it.
The statement also said the landlord was subsequently invited to another meeting to discuss the rent matter but he failed to turn up, adding that he was misleading the public with his claims that he offered to house EDC stuff for free.
But the landlord said no such offer was made for him to even reject, and it is never true the ministry invited him to a meeting he failed to attend.
He recalled that in a meeting between him and officials from Tullow Oil Ghana Limited and the Energy Ministry, they mentioned that instead of the US$6,000 a month Tullow paid for the build in the past four year, the Ministry’s budget was US$3,000.
John Donkor said the discussion was not conclusive so the ministry officials promised to get back to him with a formal offer but they never did, so he did not even get the opportunity to see an offer to reject.
He is therefore demanding proof of their offer and his rejection, otherwise he would sue the Ministry for maligning him and tarnishing his hard-earned reputation.
Indeed, when Adom News asked Wellington for evidence of an offer by the Ministry and rejection by the landlord, as he claimed, he could not provide any but said “the landlord believes in God and cannot deny he was made an offer and he rejected it.”
Wellington admitted he was not in the meeting with the landlord but he has no reason to doubt what his bosses told him.
In effect, he has no evidence to support his claims about the landlord except what his bosses at the Ministry communicated to him.
Joseph Donkor also noted that a day after the meeting, the Ministry sent people to the facility with the intention to move stuff out without taking inventory as the rent agreement between him and Tullow said.
“So they did not invite me to any subsequent meeting after that meeting before they took steps to try and get stuff out of the building,” he said.
The landlord also said the impression being created that he called BNI to prevent the GNPC and Ministry stuff from moving things out is false, a member of NPP Transition Team in the Western Region, Kwesi Biney has stated on record that he called the BNI to help because the Chairman of the Transition Team asked him to keep an eye on state properties in the region.
Rigworld vs Ministry
Meanwhile, the Ministry and Rigworld are also denying each other’s claims that there was an agreement to move stuff from EDC building to Rigworld Warehouse in Takoradi.
The Ministry’s Local Content Coordinator, Afua Amissah had earlier sent an email to Tullow staff asking them to liaise with one Nuertey Agyeman, Executive Director of Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers Association (GOGSPA) to move the stuff to the Rigword warehouse.
The Ministry’s Communications Director, Adawu Wellington showed a letter from Seaweld, dated December 18, 2016, indicating that they (Seaweld) was taking charge of the items from the EDC but they will be keeping it at the Rigworld warehouse at Apowa due to lack of space at Seaweld.
Wellington said, subsequent to that letter, Nuertey Agyeman also assured the Ministry he had spoken with the CEO of Rigworld, Dr. Kofi Abban and he had agreed to house the items.
But when Adom News called Dr. Kofi Abban, he flatly denied ever having any agreement with the Ministry, Seaweld or Nuertey Agyeman to house any items from EDC.
“Rigworld has no business with Ministry of Ernergy, EDC or GNPC – we’ve not received any items – we’ve not had any verbal agreement with any one – we’ve not signed any contract with Seaweld – we have no business with Seaweld – we don’t have any government items…” he said.
Indeed, Adom News reached out to the CEO of Seaweld, Alfred Fafali Adagbedu and he confirmed he never spoke directly with Rigworld about using their warehouse to store items from EDC but he spoke with GOGSPA and they assured him Rigworld was willing to help.
Efforts to reach Nuertey Agyeman to confirm if indeed he spoke with Rigworld about storing EDC stuff proved futile.