The Head of Corporate Communication at Ghana Gas, Ernest Owusu Bempah, has debunked claims that Ghana Gas paid GH¢8 million to the District Chief Executive of Ellembelle, Kwasi Bonzoh.
His denial comes days after the DCE issued a rebuttal and a 48-hour ultimatum to Ernest Owusu Bempah to retract and offer an apology for the false claims or prove its truthfulness in a court of law.
Speaking during a joint press conference in Takoradi, Owusu Bempah clarified that he was only disclosing the amount of money paid as property rate to the Ellembelle District Assembly and not the DCE.
“I have not said anywhere that we have paid physical cash of GH¢8 million to Bonso K. personally. Thus, Ghana Gas has not paid cash or any other amount to Bonso K.”
“That is factually inaccurate. I’ve never said it anywhere, and I have never said it on any platform. What Ghana Gas does is that because Ghana Gas is situated at Ellembelle and as a matter of fact, we pay rent or property rate and Business Operating Permit to the District Assembly to execute their businesses. In the cause of making those statements, there were some figures that were mentioned and the DCE also came in, and then it became some issue that we needed to clear the air on. So basically that was what actually happened, and we want to set the records straight,” he clarified.
“I spoke to Nzema FM, but I never said that they paid certain amounts of money personally to Kwesi Bonso but to Ellembelle District Assembly. Since 2017 the amount that the Assembly has received per the DCE’s document is GH¢4.45 million. The other remaining amount is within the system going through the audit per the available information that I got before going to the press. The remaining amount will just go through the audit before the money is paid,“ he added.
Ernest Owusu Bempah added that Ghana Gas has no issue with Kwasi Bonzoh or the Assembly.
“Ghana Gas wants to say that there’s a cordial relationship between the District Assembly of Ellembelle. You can see I am here with my friend Kwasi Bonzoh, there’s no problem whatsoever as people may put it. We were both trained by Freddie Blay, and then we have been together for a long time as comrades in terms of our political struggle or our political fight. So we don’t have any problem“, he said.
Taking his turn at the press conference, the DCE of Ellembelle, Kwasi Bonzoh expressed satisfaction with the retraction of the allegation.
“Now the records have been set, the assembly as has confirmed that it has since 2017 received a total payment of GH¢4.45million from Ghana Gas for the payment of property rate and business operating permit. All the money has gone into the District Assembly’s account and not to my personal account. The assembly is a public institution whose account is audited every year. As an Assembly, we will continue to work together with Ghana Gas. Now that this issue has been cleared, I also owe people a duty of accountability to the people of Ellembelle in terms of how these monies that have been paid to the assembly have been used,“ he noted.
Kwasi Bonzoh, however, dismissed speculations that he is scheming with other members of the party to get the Ghana Gas CEO sacked from office.
“As a DCE in the area, we picked up intelligence that there were some youth who felt they were not being given employment opportunities. These are grievances that I have nothing to do with, but once it comes to my attention, it is incumbent on me as DCE to make sure it is solved. We have brought that to the attention of the Board Chairman and to the CEO, which is being resolved,“ he explained.