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IMANI won’t apologize to GNPC Boss – Bentil

Policy Think-thank IMANI-Ghana, has said it owes no apology to the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC) Dr. K. K Sarpong, after making claims of potential conflict of interest against him over an agreement between the GNPC and a private firm.

At an event in Accra, the IMANI Vice President, Kofi Bentil, alleged that the GNPC boss may be involved in a potential conflict of interest situation after he connected Dr. K.K Sarpong with Fueltrade Ghana Limited, the private firm which holds a 2% interest the DWT/CTP block.

Kofi Bentil said if this interest still obtains, the position of Dr K.K. Sarpong as head of GNPC which is the government’s chief negotiator on oil matters, raises questions.

However, the GNPC Boss has described the claim as false.

“…I wish to state emphatically that neither I nor my family own Fuel Trade as claimed by IMANI Ghana,” Dr. K.K Sarpong stated in a statement Thursday.

According to him, the 2% stake Fueltrade holds in the new discovery, was acquired in 2014, pre-dating his appointment as Chief Executive of the state entity in 2017.

The “unjustifiable claim” he indicated, had caused him “immense economic, political and social cost which he described as “unacceptable” and thereby “demand a retraction of the said claim and an unreserved apology” from IMANI and Kofi Bentil not later than “two weeks”.

But Lawyer Kofi Bentil in an interview with Starr News stated that no such apology will be rendered.

“It was notoriously being whispered at every point that Dr. K.K Sarpong seems to have some control of Fueltrade and when we checked we did not see Dr. K.K Srapong’s name in the Directors of Fueltrade but we were presented with quite a but of information that he had significant control and the insinuation was that there may be some beneficial ownership or something of that sort. Now our checks did not confirm that to us that is why we used the word carefully that it is alleged that Dr. Sarpong has some control or members of his family could have some control.

He added “To that extent we wanted him to clarify that is the word we used so we did not accuse Dr Sarpong we rather gave him the chance because of the whispering that had been going on which some people know that he should please clear himself. Mr Sarpong has come to clear himself that is fine, if anybody raises his name we can refer to Dr Sarpong’s own denial of his control then we can move on from there…I’ve said a lot to explain that there’s nothing to apologize for.”

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