ASKA Energy Bribery Scandal: GII enters the Fray 

Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the local chapter of transparency international has called on President Akufo-Addo to authorize a thorough independent investigations by the appropriate state institutions into allegations of corruption involving Asante Berko, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Members of Parliament (MPs) and Government Officials and if any official is found culpable, the appropriate sanctions be meted out without fear or favour.

The anti-corruption organization further urged the President to commit to ensuring that in the spirit of transparency and accountability, that government will publish the findings of the investigations to assist public officials and politicians to recognise and desist from similar incidences of corruption (that is if anything untoward is found) in the future.

In a letter to President Akufo-Addo, copied, GII said “Mr. President, it is important to note that, the implications of these allegations on Ghana’s international image, governance, the country’s national anti-corruption agenda and your government’s commitment to the fight against corruption are dire and the people of Ghana look up to your unalloyed leadership in this matter.

We also take this opportunity to commend Mr. President for the urgency and importance Government attached to the Airbus saga and the swift action taken in referring the matter to the appropriate state institution for investigations and request that same alacrity is given to the matter.”

The call by GII for investigation into the allegations of corruption involving Asante Berko is premised on

On the fact that, former Chief Executive Officer of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) had been flag by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States of America over allegations of bribery.

In the suit sighted by GII, the U.S. SEC alleged that “from approximately 2015 through at least to 2016 (the “relevant period”), while employed at the subsidiary, Mr Berko schemed to bribe various Government Officials in the Republic of Ghana so that a client of the subsidiary, a Turkish Energy Company (Aksa Energy Company), would win a contract (the “Power Purchase Agreement”) to build and operate an electrical power plant in Ghana and sell the power to the Ghanaian government (the “Power Plant Project” or “Project”).

To effect the corrupt scheme, Mr Berko arranged for the Energy Company to funnel between $3 million to $4.5 million to a Ghana-based company (the “Intermediary Company”) to bribe various Government Officials responsible for approving the Power Plant Project. The Energy Company transferred at least $2.5 million of the planned $3 million to $4.5 million to the Intermediary Company, all or most of which was used to bribe Ghanaian government officials.”

GII says it is aware that, Berko in a statement has denied any wrongdoing on his part as far as his involvement in the Power Plant Project was concerned. In Mr. Berko’s statement, he indicated that: “While it is true that, the SEC has issued such proceedings against me, the allegations that Government Officials and members of Parliament were bribed by me are completely false.”

Subsequently, GII has learnt in a statement signed by Eugene Arhin, the Communication Director at the Presidency of Government’s acceptance of Berko’s resignation.

GII is of the opinion that, it is incumbent on public officials, paid with public resources to demonstrate the highest standards of integrity in the performance of their duties hence the call for independent investigations into the allegations of corruption involving Berko.

Source: Adovor Nutifafa ||


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