It has emerged that the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Dr. K.K. Sarpong, authorized the transfer of $7.5 million to a company he once worked for in 2017.
This has raised concerns of conflict of interest.The transfer was for a six-block residential apartment purchased from Global Haulage Company Limited, where Dr. KK Sarpong once served as Chief Executive.
Dr. Sarpong said the transfer was “urgent” according to a December 29, 2017, memo sighted by Citi News.
In the memo, he directed the Chief Finance Officer to make the payment, saying “I am by this memo authorizing you to effect the payment to Global Haulage Company Ltd, the vendor instantly as per their invoice attached.”
He also admitted in the memo that the directive was an “unusual step.”
An audit of the transaction was expected to be performed after January 8, 2018.
The underlying sale and purchase agreement with the seller had been effected before the said memo.
Dr. Sarpong concluded the memo by saying “I wish to indicate that I, the Chief Executive have taken full responsibility for this transaction. Please pay without hesitation.”
The property, according to the documents, is located at Chapel Hills in Takoradi.
Further documents indicated that the Finance Officer wired the funds to the accounts of Global Haulage Company that same day.
Global Haulage is the parent company of the now defunct Royal Bank, which together with four other banks, was merged by the Bank of Ghana to form Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited.
Responding to the revelations, Dr. Sarpong insisted to Accra-based Joy FM that the deal was transparent.
“I had been connected with Global Haulage, but I must tell you that the transaction is above board, all valuation reports by relevant agencies went through the board of directors [and] the board of directors’ sub-committee on properties looked at it and recommended [its suitability] to the board,” he said.
He also said he was not involved in negotiations for the deal because of the conflict of interest concerns.
“Because of my experience [and] knowing that I have been related to Global Haulage, I never took part in the negotiations, and even the vendors themselves found it very difficult getting me to help them with the transaction,” the GNPC CEO stated.
Royal Bank ties
Unconfirmed reports indicated that proceeds from the sale of the property, which is said to house between 18 and 21 apartments, were injected into the struggling Royal Bank before its collapse.
However, Dr. Sarpong said he saw nothing wrong with this.
“If they [Global Haulage] took the money and they were injecting it into Royal Bank then so be it, but there will be nothing wrong with it because they’ve sold their property properly to us [GNPC].”