Public Intellectual and lawyer, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare ( Kwaku Azar) has chided the resigned Managing Director(MD) of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) after the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) of the US charged him for “orchestrating a bribery scheme’ so that a Turkish Energy company could win a contract from the government of Ghana.
For Prof Azar, it was only commonsensical that Mr Berko resigned so that the mandated authorities can investigate the matter of his alleged involvement in paying bribes to government officials, Members of Parliament (MPs) and many others so the Turkish Energy company could secure the contract from the government of Ghana.
“Some things are common sense and do not require saying. For instance, it is common sense that the TOR MD should step aside for the appropriate authorities to look into claims that he facilitated bribery payments to government officials, civil servants, MPs, and [Ministry of Power] girls for a fee of $2M,” he argued on Facebook.
Mr Berko, on his part has strenuously denied ever paying bribes to government officials, MPs and others for the award of the contract to AKSA Energy, even though he admitted playing a consultancy role in the process, which services he was paid for.
Authorities in Ghana are yet to comment on the development given that Mr Berko was appointed by the President of the Republic.
But Prof Azar has asked that the whole energy deal in question, a deal with AKSA Energy, must be reviewed and if there are breaches, appropriate sanctions be applied, including a possible termination of the contract.
“Likewise, the authorities should be looking at the totality of the circumstances leading to the approval and ratification of the AKSA contract with a view of seeking its termination and prosecuting its actors if indeed laws were broken.
While the above things do not require saying, they must be said because this is Ghana,” he stated.
He added that is strange that some Ghanaians argue that bribes are not demanded by our officials while there continues to the giving of bribes from actors in some countries, whose authorities frequently expose these schemes.
“It is disturbing and strange for other jurisdictions to go after the supply-side of bribery transactions related to contracts here while we always claim that there is no demand-side on our end!
After all, like bookkeeping, bribery involves double entry. If there is a giver then there must be a taker,” he explained.
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