Just when everyone thought the dust had settled on the banter between the managing director of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Company Limited and Duncan Amoah, executive secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), another suit has been brought against the latter.
Mr Duncan Amoah has been sued together with the managing editor of The Herald newspaper, Larry Alans-Dogbey, and publishers of the paper, Prime Mark Company Limited.
In the latest suit filed at an Accra High Court, Alfred Obeng Boateng, the BOST MD, wants the court to punish the defendants for defaming him.
In his statement of claim filed on his behalf by his lawyer, Nana Agyei-Baffour of Sarkodie Baffour Awuah and Partners Chambers, he averred that at a press conference, Mr Duncan Amoah falsely and maliciously published some defamatory claims against him with same carried by The Herald newspaper.
He claims that at a press conference organized by Duncan Amoah on 19th March, 2018, he (Amoah) read out and distributed to members of the media, a press statement, titled, “Sales of Ghana’s Crude and Matters (sic) arising – Invocation of the Investigative and Prosecutorial Jurisdiction of the Special Prosecutor,” which sought to put him in a bad light in the sight and minds of right-thinking people.
At the said press conference, the COPEC boss was said to have claimed among other things, and same reported in newspaper that “BOST over a period now has been in the news for all the wrong reasons particularly, for activities that fall outside the real mandate for setting up of BOST. “Notable among these scandals is the irresponsible sale and release of over 5 million litres of contaminated fuel into the market…” and that “… the cash for the transport allocation scandal which is yet to break and the current one in contention, sale of 1.8 million barrels of crude.
In the last few days, our organization (COPEC) has had to go out there to conduct some investigations into the operations of BOST, i.e. value for money and apparent corruption in respect of how BOST and its managers (sic) unilaterally without recourse to public asset disposal procedures, sold crude which was imported to be refined and eventually sold for profit to an unlicensed company called BB Energy, though our findings point to the fact that BOST could have simply made much more if proper diligence (sic) had been conducted.
BOST, after the publication of our findings, has sought to deceive the public …
The explanation by BOST so far on the circumstance surrounding the actual ‘donkomi’ sale of the 942,000 barrels to an unlicensed company leaves one wondering if those seeking to call our intelligence into question even understand the gravity of the fraud and illegality perpetuated on the government and the good people of the country …
Again BOST is caught red-handed in illegalities without shame. From the foregoing, one can once again realize that no proper due diligence nor financial prudence was exercised in this murky transaction that has clearly left in its trail avoidable losses, running into several millions of dollars.
It is therefore our duty to ensure that every pesewa is protected and not be dissipated by unscrupulous people, to the detriment of the generality of the Ghanaian people.
Statement Of Offence
Mr Obeng Boateng, the BOST MD, insists that in their natural and ordinary meaning, the aforesaid false and malicious words/statements complained of, meant and were understood to mean that he acts ultra vires with the Regulations of BOST and engages in unapproved business to the detriment of its stakeholders and also engages in illegalities and has been rocked with several scandals with some yet to be disclosed.
Apart from that, he believes that the COPEC boss wants Ghanaians to believe that he (Obeng Boateng) is clueless about the business of BOST and the industry in which it operates to the extent that it engages with all manner of persons, licensed or unlicensed, to do business in the industry; has no regard for the public or the good people of Ghana and resorts to deceit in its engagement with the public.
Apart from that, he insists that Duncan Amoah also creates the impression that BOST, a profit-seeking limited liability company, acts recklessly without recourse to due diligence processes or financial prudence practices to ensure value for money for its operations; engages in fraud and other illegalities to the detriment of the government and citizens of Ghana rather than resort to best or standard practices and laid down rules/regulations, the 1st Plaintiff is driven by cronyism and corrupt motives.
For this and other reasons, Mr Alfred Obeng claims that he has suffered serious damage to his corporate reputation by being portrayed to right-thinking members of society as a socially irresponsible and an insensitive company; suffered serious damage to its corporate reputation by being portrayed to right-thinking members of society as a fraudulent and corrupt company.