Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu has described as malicious and baseless a report by the Herald Newspaper suggesting that he has been compromised in the controversial GNPC/Aker oil block deal being considered by the government.
The opposition-biased newspaper had claimed in its Friday, September 3 edition that the Minority leader is part of efforts to bribe Civil Society Groups from speaking against the deal. It mentioned the Executive Director of ASEPA as having received a call from Mr Iddrisu as part of the deal.
However, in a statement, the Minority leader dismissed the claims and threatened to sue if the allegations are not withdrawn.
“I wish to place on record that the publication under reference is spurious, malicious, baseless and a figment of the imagination of the “ghost” writer. The fact that the writer mysteriously omitted his by-line shows his or her malevolent intent and points to the fact that the publication is a fabrication. I wonder why the writer will want to hide under the cloak of anonymity if he or she were confident of his news story.
“For purposes of emphasis, I have at no time participated in or been privy to the issues, dealings and processes that have been alleged against me. The said publication is nothing but falsehood calculated at tarnishing my hard-won reputation and bring me into disrepute and public opprobrium. It also exposes the general lack of knowledge and understanding of the workings of parliament,” the statement said.
It added: “I entreat all well-meaning and discerning members of the public to read in-between the lines and see this publication as exactly what it is – malicious, mischievous and a pack of lies. I also implore my colleague members of the NDC Caucus in Parliament to disregard this attempt by what is obviously the work of unseen hands to create disfavor and disaffection for me personally. It is also a premeditated effort to place a wedge among us as the Minority Group, cause disunity within our Caucus and make us incapable of holding government accountable for its policies and decisions – which is one of our key responsibilities.
“I demand that The Herald retracts the said publication and render an unqualified apology with the same prominence as the said malicious publication within 24 hours failing which notice is hereby served that I have instructed my lawyers to assess all possible grounds that this publication offers for a legal suit against The Herald newspaper, the writer of the story and all the hidden faces behind such a wicked and politically motivated publication against my person”.
GNPC is requesting a loan not exceeding $1.65 billion to finance “the acquisition at a price to be negotiated which might not exceed US$1.3 billion and GC Explorco share of capital expenditure (CAPEX) to Pecan Phase 1 First Oil of US$350 million”.