The minority spokesperson on Energy and Mines, K.T. Hammond, is irked over the payment of “Gh¢1 million” as ex-gratia to the former chief executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Tsatsu Tsikata.
The regulatory body confirmed in a statement Monday that it indeed paid Tsikata and three others ex-gratia, but failed to mention figures.
“The Board of Directors of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), has approved the payment of ex-gratia to four former employees of the Corporation, comprising of two former Chief Executives and two Managers.
“The four and the positions at which they exited GNPC are: Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata (Chief Executive); Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye (Ag. Chief Executive); Mr. Benjamin Dagadu (Field Evaluation and Development Manager); and Ms. Esther Cobbah (Public Affairs Manager).
“The four served the Corporation for periods ranging between 12 and 21 years. They were all removed from office in 2001, under circumstances that did not allow for the payment of their respective accumulated separation entitlements,” the GNPC statement read.
Reacting to the payment, the MP for Adansi Asokwa, who first brought the issue up said Tsikata is not entitled to an ex-gratia.
“You don’t turn round 15 years down the line to pay this kind of money to these people,” the lawmaker told Accra-based Citi FM’s Richard Dela Sky. “There is everything wrong with that. They don’t deserve it. They run GNPC down.”
He added: “I suspect that at the time that Rawlings sacked him he might have paid him something… It’s criminal. Legally, there is what we call Limitation Act and per contractual relationship six years down the line those rights would have elapsed… so who in their insanity decided this should be done. Why 15 years?”
Hammond called on President John Mahama to probe the payment.
“Somebody is taking the country for a ride… we need to find out the basis for the payment, how much was paid and who took the decision? Tsikata just run down the old GNPC… there is some amount of morality in this because he is not entitled to this anyway. Tsikata and Asafu-Adjaye should be languishing in prison by now.
“There is no doubt in my mind at all that [we should go for the money]. They want the law to encroach me and I want the law to encapsulate them because there are criminal act and negligence in here and this is criminal liability on the part of the GNPC chief executive and the board including the recipients. They should have known that this money is not due them. Tsikata is receiving stolen goods and the President when he comes it should be the first thing that he will tackle,” the outspoken legislator opined.