The Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) has been saddled with a huge cloud of suspicion, like a Jonah on a ship, as a shrewd old fox is made helmswoman at the state shipping regulator.
As the expansion of President Akufo-Addo’s family and friends government sees the appointment of Mrs. Stella Wilson Agyapong as the chairwoman for the GSA Board, observers familiar with the character-sketch of ‘Dirty Stella’ have begun murmuring.
This is the same Stella Wilson Agyapong, who dodgily fronted for her husband, Assin Central Member of Parliament, Ken Agyapong, to land corruption-punctuated contracts from the erstwhile Kufuor regime in 2008.
Observers familiar with the dirty files on Imperial World and Mina D’Oro Ventures, which Ken Agyapong had used to land crony deals worth millions of dollars under Kufuor, know that his wife had camouflaged her marital status in a shady fronting role.
The same Stella Wilson Agyapong, who had curiously served as Managing Director for the two companies that were sole sourced and paid ahead of delivery on contract to supply electrical materials under the National Electrification Scheme, also cashed the millions that made Ken Agyapong a loudmouthed millionaire that he is today.
Selfsame Mrs. Stella Wilson Agyapong is the CEO of Kencity Media, which is said to operate cable television stations that frequently get sued for illegally broadcasting premier league matches to which DSTV has sole rights.
Just a little over a week ago, Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, inaugurated the reconstituted Board of the GSA, with so-called ‘Dirty Stella’ as the chairperson of the 14-member Board.
It is worth noting that it was just around the time of the reconstitution of Stella’s Board that Kwame Asare Obeng, aka A Plus, revealed that a Deputy Chief-of-Staff already has a corrupt deal at the Shippers Council (now Shippers Authority).
Stella is very memorable from 2013, in the buildup to the ruling NPP’s Presidential primary for a candidate for the 2016 election. Kennedy Agyapong had, for the umpteenth time, shot-off his mouth carelessly.
But former President Kufuor, whom he had accused of favoring Alan Kyeremanten over Akufo-Addo, had not taken the loose cannon’s bark at him lightly, leaking to the media secrets to prove that Ken Agyapong’s frequent brag about being a self-made millionaire is nothing but hot air.
In revealing that it was he, Ex-President John Kofi Diawuo Agyekum Kufuor, who had made Ken Agyapong, the former President and his camp had leaked documents about sweetheart deals that he had given Ken Agyapong in 2008 when he was President.
In the details, Ken Agyapong and his wife, Stella, had been given contracts to supply materials for a National Electrification Program under special arrangements that saw the egregious flout of Ghana’s Procurement laws.
The couple had, for instance, received payment for some parts of the contract, before the contracts would be signed, with Stella Wilson Agyapong, who had dropped the “Missus” from her name at the time, signing for the two companies.
Per documents that surfaced later, it was also clear that the contracts most, of which had been signed by the then Minister of Energy, Felix Owusu-Agyapong, had been broken into pieces to avoid a competitive bidding process, as stated by the Public Procurement Act (Act 663) of 2003.
One agreement titled; “Supply of Street Lighting Luminaries and Accessories for the National Electrification Project” was supposed to be signed between the Ministry of Energy and Mina D’Oro Ventures Limited on September 29, 2008. However, two clear months before the signing, a total sum of US$1,650 million had been paid to the couple by the government.
Interestingly, that agreement signed on behalf of the Government by Felix Owusu-Agyapong and on behalf of Mina D’Oro Ventures Limited by Stella Wilson Agyapong, had been legally preconditioned.
“Approval of the agreement by the relevant authorities in accordance with the Public Procurement Act (Act 663) of 2003 and that the prices and terms for the supply of the materials and the equipment have been subjected to a Value for Money (VFM) analysis and the findings of the analysis have been incorporated into the Agreement,” the contract terms spelt out.
However, two documents that earlier signed by Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, then Minister of State at Finance Ministry, dated August 7, 2008 and July 23,2008, had shockingly authorized payment on the yet-to-be signed agreement to have electrical items delivered from Ken Agyapong and his wife, Stella Wilson Agyapong.
In all, a total of US$1,650 million had been paid to them.
What was even more bizarre was that there was a clause in the same agreement titled “Price and Payment Terms”: “where the Purchaser shall pay to the supplier, as consideration for the supply of the materials, the Ghanaian Cedi equivalent of US$5,290,700 (Five million, two hundred and ninety thousand and seven hundred United States Dollars) using the prevailing inter-bank exchange rate in Ghana.”
The agreement had said, “there shall be a moratorium on payment for 90 days after the delivery of the materials and acceptance by the purchasers (GoG), and that fifty percent (50%) of the total amount in the sum of US$2,645,350.00 (Two million, six hundred and forty five thousand, three hundred and fifty United States Dollars) shall be paid 90 days after the delivery of the materials and acceptance by the Purchaser.
“The remaining fifty percent (50%) of the amount in the sum of US$2,645,350.00 (Two million, six hundred and forty five thousand, three hundred and fifty United States Dollars) shall be paid within 90 days after. But total amount payable shall be paid to the Supplier on the delivery of the Materials to the Purchaser’s warehouse in Tema against Commercial invoice (s) submitted by the Supplier.”
However, even before all these requirements could be met, Mr. Agyapong and his wife had been paid part of the money and had gone withdrawing from their two bank accounts at the Agriculture Development Bank (ADB), Madina Branch, located inside the Hollywood Arcade Building.
Interestingly, the Hollywood Arcade building was owned by Ken Agyapong, from where his two media houses, Oman FM and Net2 TV, operated from.
Imperial World Limited at the time ran account number 1131000013929, while Mina D’Oro Ventures transacted business with account number 1131000003302.
One other document authored by the then Energy Minister, Felix Owusu-Agyapong, and dated November 14, 2008, had also directed the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to pay a whopping Five Million, One Hundred and Seventy-Five Thousand United States Dollars (US$5,175,000) to Messrs Imperial World Limited for Electrical Materials supplied.
The contract sum dished out to the couple through Messrs Imperial World at the time, per a memo from the Internal Audit Unit of the Energy Ministry, was Fourteen Million, Nine Hundred and Ninety Six thousand, Three hundred and eight US dollars, eighty eight cents (US$14,996,308.88).
Mrs. Stella Agyapong, who had fronted for her husband all along, had done so without stating the “Mrs.” in all the contractual dealings, per the documents.
It was not hard for observers to see that she had done so to hide her relationship with the NPP MP, who was getting the huge contracts from his own party’s government under an air of cronyism.
The same shrewd Stella Wilson Agyapong, who had done the fronting, Mafia-style, in the 2008 shady contracts, is the one who has been appointed as the Board Chairperson for the GSA.
Observers are worried that the track record that she brings to the job is not wholesome. Already, Kwame Asare Obeng, a.k.a A Plus, has revealed that corruption is going on at the GSA.
Stella has become Board Chair at a time that her better-half, her ride-or-die and 2008 partner-in-shady dealing, is all over the place, complaining that his own party is not giving him contracts to enable him to benefit from the spoils of power.
Kennedy Agyapong’s complaints have seen him whine about someone else being given a huge contract at the National Identification Authority (NIA), even though he, a regime blue-blood, also put in a bid for the same contract.
As a result of the NIA contract eluding him, Ken Agyapong has even accused Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, of corruption in the award of the contract.
An invitation by the police to Mr. Agyapong to furnish the investigative body with evidence and help with investigations has since seen him take to disappearing acts.
Interestingly, while Ken Agyapong has openly accused the Communications Minister of corruption, he has been silent about allegations of corruption at the Shippers Authority where his wife is Board Chairperson.
According to A Plus, one of President Akufo-Addo’s Deputy Chiefs-of-Staff, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has had some corrupt escapade at the GSA, formerly Shippers Council, already.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Fiifi Samuels