Financial Loss Charge Was "So Unnecessary" - Akwasi Osei Adjei
Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Akwasi Osei Adjei, who was acquitted and discharged on eight counts of causing financial to the state, says the state could have saved itself the humiliation of going to court if it had cross-checked the facts with him.
Mr. Osei and the former Managing Director of the National Investment Bank, Daniel Charles Gyimah, who were charged for their roles in the importation of rice from India, were on February 25 cleared of six charges of conspiracy, stealing, willfully causing financial loss to the state and using public office for profit.
The two were accused of importing some 300,000 bags of rice from India between April 2008 and February 2009, out of which, according to the prosecution, 2,997 of those bags were diverted, leading to a financial loss of some GH¢1. 5 billion to the state.
Speaking to Abraham Asare on What's New, Akwasi Osei described as "unnecessary" the charges against him stating "I knew the case was going nowhere."
He accused the government of witch-hunt stressing that “the matter had political undertones.” Explaining the circumstances surrounding the case, Mr Osei Adjei stated that he was out of office before the rice, which he negotiated to be imported from India, reached the shores of Ghana.
According to him, he cannot be held responsible for the loss of any bags of rice because he was not responsible for its distribution.
He said even though India had frozen the exportation of rice from the country, he was ordered by former President Kufuor to negotiate for the rice to be released to Ghana during the peak of the world food crisis.
The case against the former Foreign Affairs Minister has dragged on for over three years. But he said even though the court process was frustrating, he would have gone to negotiate for more rice if he had to do it all over again.